Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project gets key approval

Published on August 22, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project, which stretches from Wisconsin to Iowa, got approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

The 100-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line will go from Dubuque County, Iowa to the Dane County, Wis., across the Mississippi River. The project also includes construction of a new substation in Montfort, Wis. The project is being developed by American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest, and Dairyland Power Cooperative.

This is the first step in it coming to fruition. Additional regulatory approvals are required from the Iowa Utilities Board as well as several federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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

The estimated cost of the project is $492 million.

“Dairyland’s cooperative members — and energy users across the region — depend on a reliable, safe transmission system,” Ben Porath, Dairyland vice president, power delivery, said. “The Cardinal-Hickory Creek line will help satisfy that essential need in a changing energy environment while supporting renewable resources and delivering substantial benefits to Wisconsin in excess of the costs of the line.”

Construction is expected to begin in 2021 pending approvals. It is expected to be operational in 2023.

“Since we introduced this project in 2014, there has been a tremendous amount of public involvement. We sincerely appreciate the public’s constructive input prior to filing the project application, and during the state regulatory process,” ATC Director of Environmental and Local Relations Greg Levesque said. “We are pleased that in addition to the reliability and economic benefits, the PSC has also recognized the importance of this project as a way to support the changing energy mix in Wisconsin and across the Upper Midwest.”