Ashland to Ironwood Transmission Line Relocation

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Final Decision Issued

On April 15, 2022, the Commission issued a final decision for this project. At the time of the final decision construction was anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2024, with completion by 2026. Removal of the existing lines is expected to occur in 2027 and 2028.

Quarterly construction updates and post decision correspondence between the Commission and the Applicant can be found in the corresponding docket reports.

Docket Reports: 4220-CE-183

Ashland and Iron Counties

Docket ID: 4220-CE-183

Northern States Power Company, dba Xcel Energy, is proposing to relocate and rebuild two existing transmission lines that run between Xcel Energy’s Gingles Substation southeast of Ashland, Wisconsin and its Ironwood Substation in Ironwood, Michigan.

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Application Summary

Xcel Energy has proposed five route alternatives that could be used to rebuild and relocate the transmission line that would be removed. These have been identified as Route Options A, B, C, D and E. All five route options contemplate relocating and rebuilding the 88 kV W3351 and 115 kV W3316 lines along the 34.5 kV W3606 and 34.5 kV W3607 corridors. Xcel has stated that the W3606 and W3607 lines are in poor condition and would be rebuilt as part of the proposed project. A segment of the W3606 line would also be relocated as part of the project.

A portion of Lines W3316 and W3351 (the lines that would be removed) is currently located within the Bad River Reservation. In addition, regardless of the route selected, a 1.8-mile-long segment of Line W3606 will be removed from the Copper Falls State Park.

Applicant stated need: The Project is needed to ensure reliable electric service to the Bayfield, Ashland and Ironwood areas. The reliability concerns are created by three factors: 1) The advanced age and poor condition of the existing facilities; 2) difficult terrain that constrains access to the facilities which are located remote from roads; and 3) limited land rights.

Estimated cost: The applicant has stated that the estimated project cost would be between $131-139 million, depending on the route(s) selected.

Project Location: The project would be located within Ashland and Iron Counties (see maps).

Proposed schedule:

  • The application was submitted to the Commission on May 26, 2021.
  • If approved, the proposed construction schedule for this project is to begin in Spring of 2024, with an estimated completion date in 2026.
Statutory Review

The Project is categorized as a Type II action under Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 4.10(2). The Commission will prepare an EA for this project that will evaluate the location of the project and its potential environmental, community, and private property impacts. There will be a preliminary determination when the Environmental Assessment (EA) is complete that will determine whether the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is necessary.


Key Application Documents


Case Contacts and Additional Information

Access D​ocket 4220-CE-183 in the PSC Case Management System to view additional information.

Utilize the Staff Involved tab for contact details for PSC staff assigned to the docket, including the case coordinator and the environmental review coordinator.

Click the Documents tab for a complete list of docket documents categorized by document type.

Access Docket 4220-CE-183

Additional Resources

Xcel (Applicant) Project Page

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