Xcel recently informed us that they were coming up with alternatives, but we had no prior knowledge as to what that might entail until receiving their email today. BPEA doesn’t have an initial response to this new information. We need to review it and wanted to share it with you for review as well.
Below is the letter to landowners from Xcel and the associated map.
November 7, 2017
Re: Proposed 34.5 kV Bayfield Second Circuit Project overhead transmission line potentially on or near your land
You are receiving this letter because your property is located along a potential alignment of a new 34.5 kilovolt (kV) transmission line. Public input is a valuable part of the process; please review the enclosed materials and provide comments via the options identified below.
Xcel Energy is proposing to construct a new 34.5 kV transmission line within Bayfield County, Wisconsin. An existing transmission line that serves the Peninsula is 50 years old, and another line is needed to increase electric reliability and provide additional support to minimize power outages across the Bayfield Peninsula for all electricity customers, including Bayfield Electric. The proposed Bayfield Second Circuit Project will extend from the proposed Fish Creek substation located about four miles west of the City of Ashland, to the proposed Pikes Creek substation located about two miles west of the Town of Bayfield.
On August 30, 2017 Xcel Energy held a public open house to provide information about the proposed project. Based on feedback received during and following the meeting we have decided to reexamine some alternative alignments. The enclosed Map 1 shows an overview of the proposed and alternative alignments. Map 2 shows the location of your property in relation to one of these alignment alternatives (map 2 only included in individual landowner letters).
Route Alternatives: (download map here)
Old C Road or Ondossagon Road
If your property is located near one of these segments a blue 50 foot wide right-of-way is shown on Map 2. This is a preliminary representation of the alignment being considered in those areas. These segments represent modifications to portions of the initially proposed alignment. In areas where a distribution line is currently present we are proposing to build within the same alignment with the existing distribution line added to the transmission poles.
Existing Transmission Corridor Alternative
If your property is located near the existing transmission line a green transparent overlay of varying width identifying the potential impact area is shown on Map 2. The approximate location of the existing transmission line is shown by the green line. The width of the potentially impacted area varies because we are currently evaluating how we might design and construct a second circuit within or adjacent to the existing corridor while maintaining power to Bayfield County residents. A parallel line (i.e., separate from, but parallel to, the existing line) would be offset from the existing line by 50 feet or more. In some locations this would require that the new line be located on the opposite side of the road from the existing line. A double circuit line (i.e., a new line and the existing circuit built on the same structures) would likely need to be offset from the existing line corridor to allow that line to remain energized during construction of the new line.
Initially Proposed Alignment
If your property is located near the proposed route, the preliminary alignment of the transmission line and a 50 foot wide right-of-way are shown in purple on Map2. This is the same alignment and right-of-way that has been shown on the project web site and in materials shown at the public open house on August 30.
More information about this project, including an interactive map, a description of the project need, frequently asked questions and several fact sheets can be found on the project web site at www.xcelenergy.com/bayfield
A copy of the project comment form is enclosed. If you would like to submit written comments regarding this project fill out the comment form and mail it to us at the address on the form or send us an email. Comments that are the most helpful include those regarding specific concerns at your property location, possible alignment shifts, construction constraints, and human and environmental impacts. If you have questions or would like additional information you can contact us at:
Sr. Land Agent
Bayfield Peninsula Energy Alternatives (BPEA)
Following the project open house on August 30th a community group has formed to evaluate alternatives to the proposed Bayfield Second Circuit Transmission Project. This group is not affiliated with Xcel Energy. If you are interested in connecting with BPEA please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the group online at http://www.bayfieldenergyalternatives.org/.
We plan to submit an application for a Certificate of Authority to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in 2018 seeking approval for the project. We are also required to receive approval from Bayfield County to construct the transmission line on county owned land. If the project receives the necessary approvals, construction is expected to begin in 2019, with an estimated in-service date of 2020.
Thank you. We look forward to your input and appreciate your assistance.
Sr. Land Agent, Siting and Land Rights