Bayfield Second Circuit Transmission Project

Estimated in-service date: 2022
Voltage: 34.5 kV line
Estimated length: 19 miles

Construction of the bypass line on the southern half of the project has begun. Work will include inserting temporary wood poles into the ground and stringing wire. Once the bypass line is complete in July, work will begin on the rebuild of the existing line between County Road G and County Road C. The work will involve removing the existing line and erecting new structures in the same corridor. Landowners will be notified in advance of construction activities on their property (view map).

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) approved the project in January 2020, selecting the East Route, which uses the existing transmission line corridor and requires construction and use of a temporary bypass line in a separate corridor while the new line is being built.

Xcel Energy is taking precautions to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. To allow crews to do their work, and for everyone’s safety, Xcel Energy is requesting that members of the public not approach them in the field. This helps maintain social distance in accordance with various health and safety guidelines.

Construction Timeline

  • December 2020 - Tree clearing and soil borings
  • Spring 2021 - Construction begins on the Fish Creek Substation
  • May 2021 - July 2021 - Phase 1 Bypass line construction and access route perparation
  • July 2021 - Existing line removal and new structure setting begins
  • August 2021 - Construction begins on the Pikes Creek Substation
  • January 2022 - Phase 1 completed and placed-in-service
  • February 2022 - December 2022 - Phase 2 construction, including Phase 2 bypass line construction and removal.

Project Overview

The project includes a new 34.5 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and two new substations. The proposed transmission line would run from a new Fish Creek Substation about four miles west of the City of Ashland to a new Pikes Creek Substation about two miles west of Bayfield, Wisconsin. The East Route uses the same corridor where the existing transmission line is located. The existing transmission line will be removed and rebuilt on new poles, which will also host the new transmission line.  Because electric service to Washburn and Bayfield needs to be maintained throughout construction of the new line, a temporary bypass line will be constructed to allow the existing line to be de-energized and removed before constructing the new line.

Project Need

Electricity is currently provided to communities on the east side of the Bayfield Peninsula via a single existing 34.5 kilovolt transmission line that was built between 1957 and 1971 (47 to 61 years old). Any failure on the line south of Bayfield or Washburn results in power outages to those communities as there is not a back-up transmission line in the area. The existing system experiences low voltages during peak usage days. The Bayfield Second Circuit Project would increase reliability and solve voltage concerns by providing an additional source of electricity to the area. This second source of power also helps ensure electricity remains on should the existing transmission line be damaged or require maintenance. In addition, this project will strengthen the overall system in the area and allow Xcel Energy to rebuild the remainder of the 34.5 kV system on the Bayfield peninsula with minimal outages to customers.

For more information on Bayfield Second Circuit project need, please view the planning report.

Interactive Project Map

The interactive map below shows the approved route. To zoom to a specific location you can type in an address in the search box or use the + and - buttons to zoom in or out.

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments on the Bayfield Second Circuit Transmission Project you can contact:

Ellen Heine
Sr. Land Agent


Certificate of Authority Application

Appendix A Figure 1 - 4 Appendix A Figure 5A Part 2

Appendix A Figure 4A

Appendix A Figure 5B
Appendix A Figure 4A Part 2 Appendix A Figure 6
Appendix A Figure 4B Appendix B
Appendix A Figure 5 Appendix J
Appendix A Figure 5A  

Xcel Energy's application with the PSCW can also be found by visiting the Public Service Commision's website, selecting Docket Search, and entering Docket No. 4220-CE-182.

Additional Information