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PSC Approves Wisconsin Route for Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project

Ninety-five percent of the route follows existing rights-of-way. Landowner outreach and survey work to begin this fall.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin today approved the issuance for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project. This order finalizes approval for the Wisconsin portion of the project and outlines the requirements that must be met in the construction of the 345,000 V transmission line and substation in Wisconsin. The approximately 100-mile line, which will electrically connect the Dane County, Wisconsin, region to the Dubuque County, Iowa region, will help improve access to lower-cost power and renewable energy. The PSC verbally approved the project on Aug. 20 during an open meeting.

“The PSC’s order identifies the project’s final route in Wisconsin,” said ATC Senior Project Manager, Jake Valentine. “The PSC made some minor modifications to the route options we developed through our routing and siting process and by engaging the public. We submitted route options that align with Wisconsin state statute requirements to co-locate the line with existing infrastructure, where feasible. Ultimately, 95% of this line will follow existing rights-of-way, including utility corridors and along state highways.”

“We are pleased that the PSC has granted final approval in recognition of the need for and benefits of this project,” said ITC Midwest Project Manager Aaron Curtis. “This project will help ensure electric reliability and provide access to lower-cost power and renewable energy for all-electric users in the region.”

“This is good news for Dairyland’s cooperative members—and all energy users in the region—who depend on the reliable and safe delivery of electricity every night and day. The Cardinal-Hickory Creek line will help our region accommodate the changing energy environment by greatly bolstering access to renewable resources, while delivering substantial benefits in excess of the costs of the line,” said Ben Porath, Dairyland Vice President, Power Delivery.

The Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line 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 renewable energy benefits. The estimated $492 million project will be cost-shared amongst electric users in MISO’s footprint. The cost to Wisconsin ratepayers will be approximately $66 million.

Project partners ATC, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative will begin contacting Wisconsin property owners along the PSC-selected route beginning this fall. If approval is granted by the Iowa Utilities Board and three federal agencies next year, construction will begin in 2021 to meet an in-service date of 2023.

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