RUS doing environmental study of 345-kV Dairyland transmission project

The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in connection with a 345-kV transmission project proposed by Dairyland Power Cooperative in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Other utilities participating with Dairyland in the project are American Transmission Co. LLC, by its corporate manager ATC Management Inc. and ITC Midwest LLC.

The proposal consists of the construction of a 345-kV transmission line and associated infrastructure connecting the Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, with the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton, Wisconsin (near Madison, Wisconsin).

The project also includes a new intermediate 345/138-kV substation near the Village of Montfort in either Grant County or Iowa County, Wisconsin. The total length of the 345- kV transmission lines associated with the proposed project will be approximately 125 miles.

A timeline published on an ITC Cardinal-Hickory Creek project page ( envisions filings with state regulators in 2018-2019; anticipated decision from state regulators in 2019-2020 and placing the project in service sometime in 2023.

Dairyland and the other project participants have identified proposed and alternate segments and locations for transmission lines and associated facilities and for the intermediate substation. Dairyland Power Cooperative is requesting RUS to provide financing for its portion of the proposed project.

The RUS will conduct four public scoping meetings in an open-house format at the following locations: Oct. 31 in Peosta, Iowa; Nov. 1 in Cassville, Wisconsin; Nov. 2 in Dodgeville, Wisconsin and Nov. 3 in Middleton, Wisconsin.

An Alternative Evaluation Study (AES) and Macro Corridor Study (MCS), prepared by Dairyland Power Cooperative, will be presented at the public scoping meetings.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are participating in the environmental review process as cooperating agencies, with RUS as the lead federal agency.

The draft EIS will be available for review and comment for 45 days. A Final EIS that considers all comments received will subsequently be prepared. The Final EIS will be available for review and comment for 30 days. RUS will eventually publish a record of decision (ROD).

For information, contact Dennis Rankin, Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, email:

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at