Boot Lake to Chain O Lakes

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Vilas County

Docket ID: 4220-C​​E-186

Application of Northern States Power Company-Wisconsin for a Certificate of Authority to Construct the Boot Lake to Chain O Lakes 34.5 kV Transmission Line and Substation Project in Vilas County, Wisconsin.

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​Application Summary

Overview: Northern States Power Company – Wisconsin, doing business as Xcel Energy, is proposing to construct a 34.5 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and two new 69 kV capable substations that would be connected by the new transmission line. The project transmission line would be approximately 15.1 miles long, and approximately 2.3 acres would be developed to host the proposed project substations. Multiple segments of existing non-contiguous transmission line along the proposed route would be removed and rebuilt in an underbuild design on the new transmission poles. Two existing 34.5 kV substations, the Rest Lake and Presque Isle substations, would be removed by the project.

Applicant stated need: The project is needed to resolve reliability limitations and operational issues. The reliability concerns are created by two factors: (1) two radial transmission systems serving the area only deliver electricity in one direction, disallowing transfer of power to prevent outages, (2) the Presque Isle and Rest Lake substations are at the end of their usable life, have no land rights and could not easily accept a new transmission line. The proposed continuous transmission line would enable the system to transfer power from either direction, which would help to prevent outages.

Estimated cost: Xcel Energy has estimated that the project would cost approximately $32.6 million at the time of application.

Project Location:The Towns of Manitowish Waters, Winchester, and Presque Isle in Vilas County.

Proposed schedule:

  • The application was submitted to the Commission on May 23, 2023.
  • The proposed construction for this project is anticipated to begin in the third quarter of 2025; anticipated to be in-service in the third quarter of 2026.
Statutory Review

The proposed transmission line and substation construction project is a Type III action under Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 4.10(3). Type III actions normally do not require preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS) under Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 4.10(3). However, an evaluation of a specific Type III proposal may indicate that the preparation of an EA is warranted for that proposal. 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 EA is complete that will determine whether the preparation of an EIS is necessary. Comments on this preliminary determination will be accepted and considered before a final determination is made. At the time of the preliminary determination, the Commission shall make copies of the EA available to those persons that request it.


Key Application Documents


Case Contacts and Additional Information

Access D​ocket 4220-CE-186 in the PSC Case Management System to view additional information.

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Access Docket 4220-CE-186

Opportunities for Public Participation

The Commission offers several opportunities for public participation in its proceedings. For construction projects, these opportunities may include providing input regarding the scope o​f environmental impact documents, attending public hearings sessions, and signing up for emails for updates related to a particular case.


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​​Additiona​l Resources​

Xcel (Applicant) Project Page

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