ATC cuts up to $23 million from Foxconn project price tag

Costs now estimated at $117-120 million depending on route

The site Foxconn Technology Group has selected for its 20 million-square-foot campus.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 pm

American Transmission Co. is now estimating it will cost $117.2 million to make infrastructure upgrades needed to meet Foxconn Technology Group’s significant electricity needs in Mount Pleasant.

The site Foxconn Technology Group has selected for its 20 million-square-foot campus.
Curtis Waltz/Aerialscapes.com

The Pewaukee-based utility originally estimated the project – which includes a new substation in Mount Pleasant, new transmission lines and modification to existing infrastructure – would cost $140 million.

Alissa Braatz, an ATC spokeswoman, said ATC was able to refine its plans as it prepared its application for the state Public Service Commission and developed a more precise estimate of costs. ATC has now submitted its application to the PSC, kicking off the regulatory review process. The company is hoping to have approval by August and to begin construction in October.

The reduced price tag isn’t likely to sway the views of the project’s critics, who object to the costs being spread out across all ratepayers in the state. The application is open for public comment and several of those submitted hit on that very issue.

Downtown Milwaukee Ald. Bob Bauman is also pursuing a resolution from the Common Council that would direct the city attorney to intervene in the case. The measure passed the Bauman-chaired public works committee this week.

Critics argue Foxconn is already receiving enough public support for its project, including $3 billion in state incentives, $764 million from local municipalities and millions more in road upgrades in the area.

Foxconn is planning to build a 22-million-square-foot LCD panel manufacturing campus. The project would initially require 230 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 170,000 households and similar in size to the electricity load for downtown Madison.

ATC and We Energies are also estimating additional development in the area around Foxconn could generate another 200 megawatts of demand.

Connecting the new substation to transmission lines running from Racine to Pleasant Prairie via ATC’s preferred route would put the price tag around $117 million while an alternate route would increase it to $120 million.

Nearly $53 million of the project cost would go toward constructing the Mount Pleasant substation on roughly 30 acres across the road from Foxconn’s campus. Another $38 million to $41 million would go to new transmission lines and upgrades to existing lines.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.