American Transmission Co., Pewaukee, Wis., has proposed making $3.4 billion in Wisconsin-focused power-line upgrades—a portion of what could be a roughly $25-billion transmission build-out designed to deliver thousands of megawatts of renewable power from the Great Plains states across the Midwest. Map:Sue Pearsall For ENR Minnesota leads way in transmission line projects worth up to $26 billion. Source: American Transmission Co. The focus on expanded transmission capacity is driven by state renewable-energy requirements. A transmission assessment conducted in July by Houston-based Quanta Services estimated that 11 Midwest states would need roughly 47,000 MW of new wind generation to meet 80%
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.