Bayfield Second Circuit Transmission Project

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

Project Update

On January 8, 2020 the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) approved the Certificate of Authority for the Bayfield Second Circuit Transmission Project. The PSCW selected the East Route, which uses the existing transmission line corridor and requires construction of a temporary bypass line in a separate corridor during construction of the new line (view approved route).

Project Overview

The Bayfield Second Circuit Transmission Project includes a new 34.5 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and two new substations. The transmission line will run from the new Fish Creek Substation about four miles west of the City of Ashland to the new Pikes Creek Substation about two miles west of the City of Bayfield, Wisconsin.  The project will increase electric reliability for the area by adding redundancy to the system through a  second source of power to the Bayfield Peninsula.

With feedback from landowners in the area, Xcel Energy identified two potential route alternatives for the project and filed an application for a Certificate of Authority with the PSCW in 2019.  In January 2020 the PSCW selected the proposed east route.

Transmission Line Route

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. Use of the bypass line will be done in two phases: Phase 1 from County Road G to Washburn and Phase 2 from Washburn to Bayfield.

Project Timeline

2019 - Application for a Certificate of Authority (CA) submitted to PSCW
2020, January - PSCW approved the CA
2020 - Begin land rights acquisition and additional permitting
2020, 3rd Quarter - Begin construction
2022 - Estimated in-service date

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