ATC finds fault with ITC Midwest’s Dubuque-Cardinal ownership dispute

American Transmission Company (ATC) believes ITC Midwest has misidentified the facilities in question in its complaint against ATC over ownership of the Dubuque-Cardinal transmission line connecting Iowa and Wisconsin.

In its Nov. 14 response to the complaint, which was filed with FERC, ATC claimed that ITC Midwest used an outdated version of the Midwest ISO (MISO) Transmission Expansion Planning (MTEP) 11 documents for the description of the extension line.  

“As a result of the changes submitted by ATC to the MISO planning staff in compliance with MISO’s quarterly update process, these facilities are now reported quite differently in the MTEP 11 approved plan than the plan that ITC apparently relied upon as the basis for its complaint,” ATC said in its response.

ITC Midwest, a subsidiary of ITC Holdings (NYSE:ITC), filed a complaint with FERC in October against ATC seeking resolution in its dispute over construction and ownership rights of the MISO project.  

The complaint followed a similar case brought by Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), in which FERC found in favor of Xcel’s shared ownership claim with ATC on the Badger-Coulee transmission line. FERC granted ATC rehearing in the Xcel case in September.

The 345-kV facilities that are a part of the project to which ITC makes an ownership claim will now interconnect with ATC’s existing facilities at a different point than described in early MTEP 11 development.

ITC claims that its dispute involves the rights and obligations of the two companies regarding the construction and ownership of the proposed 136 mile, 345-kV electric transmission line connecting ITC’s Dubuque substation in Iowa to ATC’s Cardinal substation in southwestern Wisconsin.

ATC now plans to build the Montfort substation adjacent to its Eden substation for the line terminus instead of the Cardinal substation.

The company said in its response that its position in this case and the Xcel case is in accordance with a share equally provision that states that ownership and responsibility for construction of facilities that are connected to a single owner’s system belong to that owner.

In its claim, ATC pointed to case history to support the assertion that because the Montfort substation is being built adjacent to ATC’s existing facilities, it should be considered part of the existing facilities rather than part of the new facilities that are subject to a share equally provision.

“The new Montfort substation is part of ATC’s existing system, and the line segment running from the North Madison substation to the Montfort substation are ATC’s – i.e., the “single owner’s” – existing facilities; therefore, applying the share equally provision … in the manner interpreted by FERC … to the new line segment that runs between the Montfort and Cardinal substations establishes that that line should be owned by ATC,” the company said.

Therefore, ATC concluded, the facilities to which ITC claims an ownership interest are incorrect and FERC should dismiss the complaint as to those facilities.