Ashland-Ironwood Transmission Line Relocation

Xcel Energy plans to seek approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to relocate two existing electric transmission lines that run between its Gingles Substation southeast of Ashland, Wisconsin and its Ironwood Substation in Ironwood, Michigan. The 88 kilovolt (kV) and 115 kV lines are each about 35 miles long (see map). The first round of public open houses were held in October with a second round planned for winter 2020. The open houses serve as an opportunity for residents to learn more about the project, view potential route maps, ask questions and provide feedback. Learn more about the project by viewing some frequently asked questions.


View overview video of topics covered at the October open house below.

Public Open House Schedule

The first round of public open houses were held in Hurley, Mellen and Ashland, Wisconsin in October 2019. The second round of public open house is planned to be held in the winter of 2020 in the project area.

Project Need

The 88 kV line was built in the 1950s and the 115 kV line was built in the 1970s. Both lines are critical to providing reliable power to northern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula Michigan customers including Xcel Energy, Bayfield Electric and Price Electric customers.  However, due to natural weathering, lightning damage and other factors, the wood pole structures are approaching the end of their useful service life.  Approximately 90 percent of the lines run cross-country on separate corridors through difficult terrain features including wetlands, beaver ponds, bogs, rivers, steep ravines and rocky outcroppings that pose challenges for construction and future maintenance.

Timeline (subject to change)

  • 2019-2020 – Routing Evaluation/Public Outreach
  • 2021-2022 – WI PSC Routing/Permitting Process
  • 2023-2024 – Design and Easement Procurement
  • 2025-2026 – Construction Phase
  • 2027-2028 – Restoration/Project Closeout

Regulatory Filings

The proposed project requires approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN). The Commission will determine whether the project is needed and the appropriate size, configuration, and timing for the project. If the Commission determines that the project is needed, they will then determine the route for the project. There are multiple opportunities for stakeholder and public input in both of these proceedings. Xcel Energy plans to submit the CPCN application in 2020.

Contact Us

You can submit questions or comments by sending an email to matthew.j.mcfarlane@xcelenergy.com or calling 715-737-2434.

Additional Information