Town of Delton, Wis., continues to oppose La Crosse-Madison line

The town of Delton, Wis., has sent the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) a second request that it examine all the options to the La Crosse-Madison transmission line proposed by American Transmission Company (ATC) (Docket No. 137-CE-160).

The Delton town board voted Nov. 15 to send the PSCW a copy of a letter written and distributed to area communities by the Energy Planning Information Committee (EPIC) in the town of Stark, Wis., which has actively opposed a number of transmission projects, including the recently approved CapX2020 line from Alma to La Crosse (Docket No. 05-CE-136).

“We just followed what [EPIC] asked for.” town clerk Debbie Kowalke told TransmissionHub Nov. 21. “Apparently the questions they’re asking aren’t being answered, so they asked for a follow-up letter.”

Kowalke confirmed that the letter, which she mailed to the PSCW the week of Nov. 19 is the same letter as those sent to the PSCW by at least four other communities, including Georgetown, Wis. Those letters ask the PSCW to “sponsor impartial studies to provide [a] cost-benefit analysis of all energy options in light of the state’s consideration of wide-scale planning.”

The letter from Delton, a town of about 2,200 people located approximately 50 miles northwest of Madison, Wis., was a follow-up to a resolution the town submitted on Aug. 27, which was also supplied by the EPIC. The resolution asked for “an impartial study of all solutions for this proposal [including] aggressive energy efficiency, expanded implementation of demand side management and increased dispersed generation incentives.”

Citing “significant negative impacts” that could arise from failing to compare all energy solutions, the recent letters “recommend that the commission halt the review process for the current proposal or refrain from reviewing any option that includes a high voltage transmission component.”

A review of PSCW filings by TransmissionHub showed that, as of Nov. 20, more than 100 municipal entities had filed resolutions opposing the project. Many of those resolutions were identical except for the names of the communities and the names and signatures of the officials who signed them.

Calls for a halt to the review process, however, may be premature as the current open docket is considered a preliminary docket because ATC has not yet filed an application for the project. ATC expects to file its application in 2013.

When the application is filed, a new docket will be opened, according to a PSCW spokesperson, who added that many of the comments will likely be refiled when an application for the project is submitted.