Officials at a Waukesha, Wisc., utility have announced plans to move forward with a project they have been studying for more than two years. In July, American Transmission Co. (ATC) decided that it was time to kick-start the proposed Badger Coulee Transmission Line into the public outreach stage.

Careful study and analysis have led the company to conclude that the 345-kilovolt, 150-mile transmission line from the La Crosse area to the greater Madison area would provide multiple benefits to utilities and their customers in the state and the region.

ATC asserts the proposed line will improve reliability in western Wisconsin by providing increased electric transfer capability within the region and alleviating stability issues in the upper Midwest.

Company studies show that building a highly efficient line will offset the need for approximately $140 million in lower voltage upgrades in the communities that the project will serve. The line will provide utilities greater access to wholesale electricity by reducing congestion. It will provide the flexibility to buy and sell power when it’s most economical and to receive electricity generated from renewable sources.
Now, ATC will host a series of open houses with the public and other stakeholders to explore routing options for the line.

The ATC expects to file an application to build the line with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in 2013. If approved, construction would begin in 2015, with service beginning by 2018.