American Transmission Company (ATC) on Dec. 13 said that the 180-mile, 345-kV Badger Coulee transmission line, connecting the Dane County area with the La Crosse County area, is energized and part of an integrated electric system serving customers in the region.
ATC spokesperson Kaya Freiman on Dec. 13 told TransmissionHub that the project was placed in service this month and that the project’s estimated cost is $580m.
The line will help ensure reliable electricity for the region and provide access to lower-cost power and renewable energy, ATC said, adding that the project is part of a portfolio of projects that will help enable the delivery of 25 GW of renewable energy.
A 20-mile portion of the project in Dane County was placed in service in 2017, ATC noted, adding that the project was included in a group of 17 Multi-value Projects designated by the Midcontinent ISO. Those projects are expected to create $12.1bn to $52.6bn in net economic benefits over the next 20 years to 40 years, and enable 41 million MWh per year of wind generation, the company said.
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved the Badger Coulee line in April 2015, and construction activities began in 2016, ATC said.
Gregory Levesque, ATC director of environmental and local relations, said in the statement, in part: “We will be continuing restoration work on portions of the project next year. The ATC environmental department also will continue periodic monitoring through 2023 in the right-of-way to evaluate restoration, revegetation, erosion control and invasive species in certain areas as required by state and federal permits.”
As noted on the project’s webpage, the project was jointly developed by ATC and Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL). Dairyland Power Cooperative, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency – Wisconsin, and WPPI Energy are also owners for the portion of the project between the Briggs Road and North Madison substations, according to the site.