We Energies has made another round of revisions on plans for a pipeline running through Walworth County, and another day of public hearings is scheduled for next month.
The commission decides on the necessity of utility projects.
The company submitted an application May 18, 2018, to move forward with the natural gas lateral. Jahns said after company officials met with property owners and local government officials, they revised the two proposed routes on Dec. 5, 2018, and March 28, 2019.
The commission has scheduled public hearings on the project for 2 and 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Liberty Hall Parkside Room at Veterans Terrace at Echo Park, 589 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington.
The pipeline is meant to “increase the quantity and reliability of natural gas service, both on a peak day and annually, in southeastern Wisconsin given projected load growth, planned distribution facility modifications, and pipeline capacity alternatives serving southern Wisconsin,” according to the project page on the Public Service Commission’s website.
The proposal calls for nearly 50 miles of 24-inch steel transmission main running through several southeastern Wisconsin municipalities. The pipeline would start at the Bluff Creek Gate Station in La Grange and end in Mount Pleasant in Racine County.
Two routes are under consideration. The most recent cost figures are $174.1 million for the new Route A, which would run by Elkhorn, and $179.4 million for the new Route B, which runs by East Troy.
Jahns has said customers would pay for the project through their utility rates.
The commission ultimately determines which route is selected. Jahns said the state Department of Natural Resources has input on the process, such as with environmental permits, and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is also involved.
Jahns has said the project would cover the gas supply to an area that is growing economically. Part of that expected growth has been the planned Foxconn facilities.
Over time, however, Foxconn’s plans have changed.
When asked if We Energies was concerned about whether Foxconn would end up looking like how it was pitched when the pipeline was proposed, Jahns said Foxconn was only part of the planning.
“This project was not because of Foxconn,” she said in an email. “It will benefit all current and future residents and businesses in the area through improved reliability and service.”
If the project is approved, she said construction is set to begin late this year and finish in 2021.