The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) unanimously voted to preliminarily approve the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line project.
Cardinal-Hickory Creek is a proposed 345-kV transmission line that would run from Hickory Creek substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, to the Cardinal substation in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Studies indicate that the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project is a multi-benefit project that would support communities in the Midwest region by:
- Improving electric system reliability locally and regionally
- Delivering economic benefits for utilities and electric consumers
- Expanding infrastructure to support public policy for greater use of renewables
“Transmission is the backbone of clean energy alternatives to fossil fuel,” said Commission Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “Getting low-cost, clean energy from where it is plentiful in the west to where it is needed, and at the scale that it is needed, cannot be done without building transmission infrastructure. I support this project because I firmly believe that it will provide tangible economic and reliability benefits to Wisconsin customers, and will serve as the cornerstone to achieving a zero carbon future.”
In addition to reduced congestion charges that will, ultimately, benefit consumers in the form of lower rates, the project will improve transmission system reliability, increase transfer capability between Wisconsin and the west, and will help to reduce carbon emissions by supporting the interconnection of up to 8.4 GW of new generation; the majority of which will be wind power.
The estimated cost of the project is approximately $492 million. Wisconsin’s portion is estimated to be approximately $67 million. The remainder will be paid by ratepayers in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) member states.
The project is a joint proposal between the applicants, American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest LLC, and Dairyland Power Cooperative. According to the applicants, construction is expected to commence in October of 2020 with the line coming into service by December 2023. The Commission held six public hearings in the project area, as well as a week of technical hearings for all of the parties in the case.