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If a new electricity infrastructure project is built in Racine County to help power the proposed Foxconn factory in Mount Pleasant, state residents could foot the bill but for how much is up in the air.
According to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, American Transmission Company (ATC) is looking for state approval to build a $140 million substation on Highway H, just east of where Foxconn plans to build a 20-million square foot manufacturing facility. The project also includes making modifications to the Racine and Elm Road substations.
“With an initial electric load estimate of 230 megawatts, Foxconn is expected to use up to six times more electricity than the next largest manufacturing facility in Wisconsin,” the ATC project sheet reads.
While Wisconsin residents would have to pay into the project, ATC officials told the newspaper the costs would be spread over some 5 million customers over 40 years.
“The typical residential customer would pay pennies per year over the life of the project,” ATC spokeswoman Alissa Braatz is quoted as saying.
ATC is owned by several Wisconsin utilities, including We Energies, the story continues.
Applications with the Public Service Commission will be filed in February, the story reads, and, if approved, the ground will be broken next summer so power can start flowing to Foxconn by early 2020.
Thomas Content of the advocacy group Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin told reporter Rick Romell the $140 million price tag asks the public to contribute even more than the $3 billion in tax incentives recently passed into law. Additionally, Foxconn will likely buy their power at wholesale prices available to certain large customers, which is typically lower than the rates other users pay.
“We’re trying to watch every penny because our rates are so high,” Content is quoted as saying.