Wausau-to-Duluth power line route details finalized

GREEN BAY, Wis., Oct. 24, 2001 – After nearly a two-year approval process, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) has written the finalized order that outlines the details and route specifics of the 220-mile electric transmission line from Wausau to Duluth.

The PSCW approved the line on August 17 of this year. The joint project of Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, a subsidiary of WPS Resources Corporation, and Minnesota Power, an ALLETE Company, was originally announced April 15, 1999.

The finalized route begins at the Weston Power Plant Substation just south of Wausau. It runs west to the Owen-Withee area (near State Highway 29) and then heads northwest (near State Highway 53) to the Arrowhead substation near Duluth. All property owners along the route will receive a notice or letter in the mail within a few weeks.

With the PSCW’s written final order, the utilities will proceed with the project and begin the engineering and geographical surveys that need to be completed before 2002 when construction is expected to begin which is expected to take about three years.

“We are pleased the final order has been issued,” said Don Shippar, Chief Operating Officer of Minnesota Power. “We hope this project can be an example to show how communities, utilities and private landowners in Wisconsin and Minnesota can work together to solve the electric reliability problem in this region,” added Shippar.

“We intend to work fairly with any private and public land owners who may require easements on their property,” said Patrick Schrickel, President and Chief Operating Officer of Wisconsin Public Service. “It’s a negotiated process which is guided by state law.”

“The line will provide economic stability and long-term security and is a great first step in improving the reliability of the transmission system,” said Shippar. About 83 percent of the line will run along existing rights-of-way. “The final route selection minimizes the environmental impact and private land owner impacts and maximizes the use of existing corridors,” added Schrickel.

Minnesota Power provides low-cost electric service in northeastern and central Minnesota. A subsidiary, Superior Water Light and Power, provides electricity, natural gas and water to customers in Superior and adjacent areas in northwestern Wisconsin ( http://www.allete.com ).

Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, based in Green Bay, provides electricity and natural gas to 400,000 customers in a 19-county area in northeastern and central Wisconsin, and a portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula ( http://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com ).

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