Usually Carl and David are the ones with the interesting energy posts, most of which are about the doom and gloom that is going to befall us here in the US since we, in general, are not creating any new plants, nor upgrading our transmission system. I should start off by saying that I am no expert in this field, just a reporter on events.
I have noted in the past that here in Wisconsin I believe that things are better than in most places. The reason I say that is because of companies like ATC.
For those that don’t know, Dane county is the home to Madison, and the beltline is the major east-west highway that crosses it. I don’t know how ATC keeps getting things done, but they simply do. All across the state of Wisconsin they are able to get their transmission projects through. They must have the determination and courage of a pitbull. I don’t have the stones to go up against the boatloads of enviro types here in super liberal Madison, much less in more remote areas. I just couldn’t stand the heartburn. I am sure that the enviros took some hide out of ATC along the way with lawyer fees, but ATC must have thought that it was worth it. The line will be 32 miles long, and is a 345k variety.
The line will be above ground, and as part of the approval, the PSC [Public Service Commission] required the use of shorter poles near the UW Arboretum, required a crossing to the north side of the Beltline near High Point Road, and alternate pole designs and additional landscaping near the Odana Hills Golf Course to minimize the line’s visual impact.
That is probably the tip of the iceburg as far as the concessions ATC had to make, but the process has begun and the project is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
As you can see from their website, ATC has a lot of projects going on right now, completed and in the works.
Transmission is an extremely part of our energy needs for the future, and I hope more companies like ATC can start to make headway against those who would try to choke the US off of cheap, plentiful energy.