RUS to prepare environmental impact statement for Cardinal–Hickory Creek project

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) and hold public scoping meetings in connection with possible impacts related to the Cardinal–Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project proposed by Dairyland Power Cooperative, according to a notice of intent, which was scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Oct. 18.

Other utilities participating in the project are American Transmission Company, by its corporate manager, ATC Management, and ITC Midwest.

According to the project’s website, the line would connect northeast Iowa and western Wisconsin, providing economic savings, supporting renewable energy policy, and improving electric system reliability. According to the anticipated schedule on the website, applications are planned to be filed with state regulators in 2018-2019; decisions from state regulators are anticipated in 2019-2020; and the project is planned to be in service in 2023.

According to the notice, the proposed project consists of building an approximately 125-mile, 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, Wis., near Madison, Wis.

The project also includes a new intermediate 345/138-kV substation near the Village of Montfort in either Grant County or Iowa County, Wis.

Among other things, the notice further stated that the EIS will address the construction, operation and management of the proposed project, which includes:

  • A new 345-kV terminal within the existing Hickory Creek substation
  • A new intermediate 345/138-kV substation near the Village of Montfort in either Grant or Iowa County
  • A new 345-kV terminal within the existing Cardinal substation in the Town of Middleton in Dane County, Wis.
  • A new 45- to 65-mile (depending on the final route), 345-kV transmission line between the Hickory Creek substation and the intermediate substation
  • A new 45- to 60-mile (depending on the final route), 345-kV transmission line between the intermediate substation and the existing Cardinal substation
  • A short, less than one-mile, 69-kV line in Iowa                                      
  • Facility reinforcement needed in Iowa and Wisconsin
  • Construction and maintenance of access roads for all proposed transmission lines and rebuild of the Turkey River substation in Dubuque County with two 161/69-kV transformers, four 161-kV circuit breakers, and three 69-kV circuit breakers

According to the notice, the RUS will conduct four public scoping meetings in an open-house format on Oct. 31 in Peosta, Iowa; Nov. 1 in Cassville, Wis.; Nov. 2 in Dodgeville, Wis.; and Nov. 3 in Middleton.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.