Transmission Projects Spark Opposition

04/24/2006


Electric transmission capacity continues to be a problem in several areas of the United States as summer's peak-demand period approaches. Though several large-scale projects are getting underway, transmission operators are still fighting for community and regulator approval for new power-line construction in many regions.

Transmission capacity to Michigan's Upper Peninsula will more than double—to 500 MW from the current 220 MW—by 2010, according to developers of the $641 million "Northern Umbrella" plan, undertaken by Waukesha, Wis.-based American Transmission Company (ATC). The plan will boost the ability to carry electricity into the region from Wisconsin and help secure connections to the more than 30 small and large power plants within the network.

Currently under construction, the project has faced significant opposition. The Wisconsin legislature was forced to intervene when local officials in DouglasCounty refused to allow ATC to build on county property. Legislation was passed ordering the county to allow the transmission company to purchase land for the project at market rates. ATC has identified an additional $3 billion to $4 billion in improvements it says are needed to ensure that capacity keeps pace with demand growth, which Wisconsin's Public Service Commission has estimated at 2% per year.

In April, San Diego Gas & Electric announced the preferred route for its proposed 1,000-MW Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, which would cut through San DiegoCounty's mountain and desert backcountry. The $1.4 billion project would intersect a state park and several communities, and drew immediate criticism from area residents and environmentalists. Company officials say they hope to gain state public utility commission approval to begin construction by 2008 for operation by 2010.

Plans for two recently announced projects in West Virginia have not yet attracted opposition. The efforts would total more than $4 billion and are intended to both boost reliability within the state and add export capacity for electricity generated by coal-fired plants in the region. A 765-kV line is planned by American Electric Power to run 550 miles, from central West Virginia up to New Jersey, via Maryland and Pennsylvania. A second 550-kV, 330-mile line is proposed by Allegheny Energy to begin in northern West Virginia and run down to Frederick County, Md. Developers are hoping both lines would be operational by 2014.





Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Boiler basics; 2017 Product of the Year winners; Manufacturing facilities Q&A; Building integration; Piping and pumping systems
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me