American Transmission Co.

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ATC’s storage as transmission project featured on podcast

American Transmission Co.’s proposed Waupaca Area Storage Project was recently featured in the Electric Wire podcast produced by The Customers First Coalition.

Strategic Projects Director Bob McKee explained the need drivers, timeline and benefits of the project in an interview with CFC Executive Director Kristin Gilkes.

The costs of energy storage are dropping and in certain circumstances it has advantages over wires and other traditional transmission equipment. The Waupaca Area Storage Project is less expensive than an alternative to rebuild a transmission line in the area. The project includes a 2.5 MW/5 MWh lithium ion battery and what would be the first storage as transmission project in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator footprint. The battery is proposed to be interconnected at the Harrison North Substation and would increase area transmission reliability and operational flexibility. The project has an estimated $8 million capital cost and the currently proposed in-service date is Dec. 31, 2021.

ATC has been among the key stakeholders that have worked with MISO since 2018 to develop tariff revisions which will enable storage to be recognized as a transmission asset, providing another tool that ATC can use to reliably and cost-effectively serve customers. Those tariff revisions were recently conditionally approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which required MISO to make some clarifications. It is anticipated that the MISO Board of Directors will include the project in the regional plan after those clarifications are approved by FERC.

The Customers First Coalition is an alliance of Wisconsin utilities, wholesale electric suppliers, renewable energy advocates and utility workers that advocates for policies that protect electric customer interests, promote electric reliability and affordable energy. ATC owners Madison Gas & Electric and WPPI Energy are members of CFC.