ATC identifies preliminary routes for Badger Coulee project

American Transmission Company (ATC) has identified a number of preliminary route options for its proposed Badger Coulee transmission project.

“We have narrowed down [the number of] potential corridors we were looking at,” an ATC spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 2, who added that the company “labeled just over 1,000 miles of potential corridors, made up of numerous segments, inactive.”

The reasons certain routes were eliminated varied. “It’s a combination of constructability, public input, environmental reasons,” and other factors, the spokesperson said.

According to a route map provided by ATC, the preliminary routes for the proposed 150-mile to 170-mile, 345-kV line would primarily follow existing interstate and state highway routes between the area north of La Crosse, Wisc., and the area north of Madison, Wisc., though two of the preliminary route segments head essentially due east from La Crosse and traverse La Crosse, Monroe, and Juneau counties until they reach the Interstate 90 corridor.

The final routing will depend on a number of factors, including public input and the final site of a new substation that will be built north of La Crosse as part of the project.

Studies indicate that the approximately $425m project will deliver benefits to Wisconsin and the Midwest region by improving electric system reliability, delivering economic benefits for Wisconsin utilities and electric consumers, and expanding the infrastructure to support greater incorporation of renewable sources of energy, the company said in a statement.

The preliminary routes will be presented in a series of six public meetings throughout the project study area later this month. Approximately 9,000 potentially affected landowners, public officials, and other stakeholders will receive invitations in the mail.

The company anticipates submitting an application to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in 2013. According to TransmissionHub data, the company plans to start construction in 2016 with an anticipated in-service date of 2018.