The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has approved the formal order outlining the requirements that must be met in the construction of the 345,000-V Badger Coulee Transmission Line. Project partners American Transmission Co. and Xcel Energy will begin contacting landowners along the approximately 180-mile line in May to begin the real estate acquisition process. The project, which will electrically connect the La Crosse area to northern Dane County, will help ensure electric reliability for communities throughout western Wisconsin and improve access to lower-cost power and renewable energy.
While construction is not set to begin until spring 2016, negotiations with landowners will begin next month to acquire easements along the route. Negotiations, along with construction, will be sequenced over eight segments, working from south to north.
“Landowners who live along the route in Dane, Columbia and a portion of northeastern Sauk County soon will receive information about easement negotiations as well as their rights under Wisconsin law,” said ATC Real Estate Manager Sarah Justus. “Negotiations are very important to resolving landowner questions and concerns specific to individual properties.”
“We look forward to continuing our discussion with landowners,” said Xcel Siting and Land Rights Manager Sarah Schwartz. “Public input was critical in identifying a route, which resulted in a line that will use existing utility and highway corridors for more than 90 percent of the approved route.”
The project’s end points are Xcel Energy's new Briggs Road Substation near Holmen and ATC’s North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna, continuing to ATC’s Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton.
This project has been designated a Multi-Value Project by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator because it will enable the delivery of energy in support of reliability, economic and public policy benefits. The $580 million estimated project cost will be shared among all electric users in MISO’s footprint, which includes 15 Midwestern states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The project is expected to be placed in service in 2018.