Power line upgrade is now under way
American Transmission Company is just starting work to upgrade the power lines along a 30-mile route from Beloit Township to Elkhorn.
The existing 69-kilovolt system, which has been serving Rock and Walworth counties for several decades, no longer is adequate to accommodate the area’s growing power consumption.
“That area ... has really, really grown, and a 69-kilovolt system wasn’t enough to move power throughout the counties,” said ATC spokeswoman Mary Carpenter.
The upgraded system should be able to handle demand for several decades to come.
“We try to build something for the future,” Carpenter said. “This will take us out a couple decades before any work needs to be done in these communities again.”
Modifications and additions to the system will convert it to a 138-kilovolt system.
The project is divided into four phases:
-- Phase 1: Upgrading existing lines from the Turtle substation, 3925 S. Prairie Ave., to the West Darien substation, N9218 Foundry Road.
-- Phase 2: Upgrading existing lines from the West Darien substation to the proposed Southwest Delavan substation off County K.
-- Phase 3: Building new lines from the proposed Southwest Delavan substation to the Bristol substation, 6396 Mound Road.
-- Phase 4: Building new lines from the Rock River substation, 827 W. B-R Townline Road, to the Turtle substation, modifying substations along the entire route and converting the system.
People who live along the route “may not be seeing much of anything” in the way of construction, Carpenter said. Those who live in the area slated for new power lines probably have heard from an ATC representative, as the company needs to obtain easements before construction can begin there, she said.
The work on Phase 3 began in November, when the foundations for new utility poles were poured. Work on that phase will continue through the winter. New poles should be erected in spring.
Only the work on Phase 1 has been completed. Aging wood utility poles and wires were replaced with steel poles and new wires.
The entire conversion should be complete in spring 2009.
Unused power lines from Darien Township to Geneva Township will be removed after the conversion.
2003—Existing 69-kilovolt system from Beloit Township to Elkhorn was identified for upgrade.
2006—Upgrades made to existing 69-kilovolt lines between the Turtle substation and the West Darien substation for future operation at 138 kilovolts.
2007—New lines and substation facilities constructed between the West Darien substation and the proposed Southwest Delavan substation. The lines were built to accommodate 138 kilovolts, but it currently operates at 69 kilovolts.
2008—Construction of new lines between the proposed Southwest Delavan substation and the Bristol substation. Substation modifications and other line work to be completed.
2009—Entire route converted to 138 kilovolts.
2009-10—Unused lines to be removed.