American Transmission Co. and ITC Midwest LLC will host open houses to introduce to the public their plans for a new electric transmission line that would connect Dane County, Wisconsin, and Dubuque County, Iowa.
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project, previously called Cardinal Bluffs, would connect ATC’s Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton, Wisconsin,, with ITC’s proposed Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., the regional electric transmission organization, approved the need for the approximately 125-mi, 345-kV Cardinal-Hickory Creek project as part of a portfolio of 17 transmission line projects that were identified as Multi-Value Projects. These projects are expected to deliver multiple benefits to electric consumers across the Midwest region by improving electric system reliability, providing economic benefits to utilities and electric consumers, and expanding electric infrastructure to support public policy for greater use of renewable energy.
The open houses are the first step in a multi-year process required to seek regulatory approval for the line.
A route for the new power line has not yet been determined. “We look forward to meeting with the public and talking about their involvement in the routing and Wisconsin regulatory processes,” said Jon Callaway, ATC senior local relations representative. “ATC and ITC are beginning outreach in Wisconsin well ahead of filing an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.”
“Landowners and local officials have an important role to play in this process,” said Angela Jordan, ITC area manager for local government and community affairs. “These open houses are the first step in a long process of communications and dialogue with local landowners, citizens and other stakeholders about this important project.”
The project will require state regulatory approvals from Wisconsin and Iowa agencies as well as federal approvals from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers. ATC and ITC anticipate filing an application for the Wisconsin portion of the project with the PSCW in 2016. If the project is approved, construction in Wisconsin is expected to start in 2019 to meet an in-service date of 2020.
The total project is estimated to cost approximately $450 million at this time, although detailed engineering design cannot be performed until a specific route is determined. Because this project is designated by MISO as a Multi-Value Project that provides benefits across the Midwest, its costs will be spread across the MISO 11-state footprint in the Midwest. For more information, including a study area map, visit www.cardinalhickorycreek. com.