The Arrowhead-Weston transmission line, looking east as it winds toward the St. Louis River and Wisconsin…

High-voltage power line nears completion

(if you want to comment, click on the lnk above to get to the paper’s site and tell them what you think of the Arrowhead Project — that is, unless you’re one of my loyal readers from Minnesota Power!!!)

Duluth News Tribune – 12/08/2006

A controversial high-voltage transmission line is nearing completion, as energy has begun to flow on about two-thirds of the proposed 210-mile Arrowhead-Weston power line in Wsconsin.

A segment of line between the Weston Power Plant and the Stone Lake substation in Sawyer County was energized Nov. 30.

In Northwest Wisconsin, about 66 miles of the line remain to be constructed, including a segment that will run through Douglas County.

Pete Holtz, general manager of the Arrowhead Weston project, said it was necessary to power up the line to complete its construction. The line will run through Northwest Wisconsin along the path of an existing power corridor. To allow for the new lineâ??s construction, a smaller line will need to be taken out of service temporarily. Holtz said the newly energized line will be used to feed customers, minimizing electrical disruptions along the route as the project goes forward.

The line is scheduled for completion in May 2008.

When finished, the line will carry 600 to800 megawatts of energy â?? enough electricity to power 200,000 to 250,000 households.

At present, Holtz said the energized segment of line is operating at only a small fraction of its capacity.

Opponents of the line fear electromagnetic fields and stray voltage from the fully operational 345-kilovolt line could endanger the health of its neighbors.

Tom Kreager said the power line passes within 100 feet of his house in Mosinee, Wis., and said he shares those concerns.

The American Transmission Co., which is building the line, has assured residents it will pose no health danger.

As president of a group called Save Our Unique Lands, or SOUL, Kreager has been involved in unsuccessful efforts to block the construction of the Arrowhead-Weston line.

Now that the project is moving forward, Kreager called on the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to keep a close eye on its cost, warning that rate payers could be stuck with the bill for any overrun.

Holtz said the project is on schedule and on budget. The line is expected to cost $420 million.


And looking west, here it is by one of the coolest bridges around. The train runs on top, and the cars below. The lower level was wood when I first was there in August of 2000, somewhere here I’ve got this great photo looking through the bridge at sunset, astounding… with a cheezy disposable camera even! Ahhhhh, those were the days, officing in Sadie’s garage on a door and a filecabinet and sawhorse, back in the days when the utility didn’t know what to expect! Oh well, that was then…

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