Janesville10.2°

Rock County power line ‘first in Midwest’

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ANN MARIE AMES
October 16, 2008

Work has started on a high-voltage electrical transmission line that will slice across Rock County and be the first of its kind in the Midwest, according to the American Transmission Co.


The 35-mile line will connect the Paddock Substation in Beloit Township to the Rockdale Substation in Dane County’s Christiana Township.


The line will follow Interstate 90/39 south from Dane County and veer west around the city of Edgerton. It will turn south again and pass less than a mile from Edgerton to the substation at the Illinois state line.


The line will pass two miles west of the city of Janesville.


Lines already exist from the Paddock Substation into Illinois.


This line is different than most the American Transmission Co. owns. The company pitched this line for economic rather than grid-improvement reasons.


“Until this project, transmission lines in the region have almost exclusively been built to enhance reliability of electrical power in the area. Although improved reliability will be a by-product of the project, economics drove the decision to build,” American Transmission Co. spokeswoman Luella Dooley wrote in a news release.


Local utilities will be able to access lower-cost, wholesale electricity from outside Wisconsin and will pass the savings on to consumers, Dooley wrote.


The project also will allow utilities better access to renewable sources of energy outside their service areas, said spokeswoman Mary Carpenter.


Renewable energy sources can be expensive to build, she said.


The $133 million, 345-kilovolt line will be built on existing right-of-way and in some places will be doubled or tripled up with existing lines. Double lines are common but triple lines are rare in Wisconsin, Carpenter said.


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Local governments will receive one-time and annual payments to offset the impact of the 35-mile, 345-kilovolt high power transmission line under construction in Rock County. The Wisconsin Department of Administration will make the payments in the next 60 to 90 days, American Transmission Co. spokeswoman Mary Carpenter said.


Rock County: $1.8 million, one-time; no annual.


Beloit: $302,000, one-time; $36,000 annual.


Rock Township: $514,000, one-time; $62,000 annual.


Janesville: $508,000, one-time; $61,000 annual.


Fulton Township: $488,000, one-time; $59,000 annual.



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