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Wisconsin Public Service Commission Certificate Overview (8-WI-c)

Information current as of 2020
In Wisconsin, a developer may need to obtain either a Certificate of Authority (CA) or a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (WPSC) to construct a new electric transmission facility. WPSC – Application Filing Requirements for Transmission Line Projects, p. 1. An electric public utility is defined as “…every corporation, company, individual, association…town, village, or city that may own, operate, manage or control…all or any part of a plant or equipment within the state, for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of heat, light, water, or power either directly or indirectly to or for the public.” Wis. Stat. §196.01(5)(a)-(b).

The WPSC has two (2) separate review processes for transmission projects in Wisconsin. The process required depends on the voltage, length, and cost of the project.

Public Service Commission Certificate Overview Process

8-WI-c.1 to 8-WI-c.2 – Is the Transmission Project 100 kV or more and Greater than One Mile in Length?

A developer may need a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (WPSC) for transmission line projects designed for operation greater than 100 kV or more that exceed one (1) mile in length. Wis. Stat. §§ 196.491 et seq. For information, see:

Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity:

8-WI-c.3 to 8-WI-c.4 – Does the Transmission Project Require a Certificate of Authority?

A public utility must obtain a Certificate of Authority (CA) from the WPSC in the following circumstances:

  • prior to “…the construction, installation or operation of any new plant, equipment, property or facility, or the construction or installation of any extension, improvement or addition to its existing plant, equipment, property…or facilities...” whose estimated gross cost exceeds a particular amount, as signified below regarding exemptions. Wis. Stat. § 196.49(2); Wis. Admin. Code § 112.05(1). This includes projects for constructing or rebuilding a transmission line, including necessary terminations and related new substation or substation additions, or a new substation or switching, or a distribution system extension. Wis. Admin. Code § 112.05(1)(c)-(f); and
  • prior to “…construction, installation or…operation an initial interconnection with the transmission system or another electric utility, with no existing transmission interconnections…” Wis. Admin. Code § 112.04.

Transmission system is defined as, “…electric lines and associated facilities, designed and operated at 40 kV or higher voltage, that transmit power from generating plants to and between distribution systems.” Wis. Admin. Code § 112.02(9).

For more information, see:

Certificate of Authority:

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Contact Information

Edit Wisconsin Public Service Commission
Division of Energy Regulation - Administrator (608) 267-9813

Edit Wisconsin Public Service Commission
Division of Energy Regulation - Transmission System Planning (608) 266-0478