A transmission project in Wisconsin took an important regulatory step this fall, after years of siting and community interaction, including challenges from those opposed to the project. The Badger-Coulee transmission line would run from the La Crosse area to Dane county, and is one of several multi-value projects. These projects are termed “multi-value” because they allow for greater system reliability, economic growth, and other benefits.
In late October, developers of the line, American Transmission Company and Xcel Energy, filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to build the 345 kV line. The PSC requires developers to submit two routes for their projects, often a preferred route and an alternative route. Over the next 12 to 18 months, PSC will review the application and seek public comment.
For much of its life, this project has been the target of opposition groups. Many argued for alternative routes to be considered, or that the line would actually harm reliability. On the reliability consideration, two groups, Citizen Energy and Save Our Unique Lands, complained to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about their concerns. FERC threw out the complaints.
The upcoming year presents an opportunity for project supporters and critics to voice their opinions and affect the future of the line. Transmission projects work best when communities get involved. Their local insight is the only way for projects to get changed for the better. You can get involved or learn more about the Badger-Coulee project here.
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