ITC Holdings: Iowa regulators approve franchise for segment of Cardinal-Hickory Creek project

The board unanimously approved the franchise for the 14-mile Iowa transmission line segment, which will be built from the Hickory Creek substation near New Vienna in Dubuque County, Iowa, northward to Clayton County, and then cross the Mississippi River near Cassville, Wis., the company said

ITC Holdings on May 27 said that the Iowa Utilities Board has approved the franchise for a segment of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project, which involves ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative.

The board unanimously approved the franchise for the 14-mile Iowa transmission line segment, which will be built from the Hickory Creek substation near New Vienna in Dubuque County, Iowa, northward to Clayton County, and then cross the Mississippi River near Cassville, Wis., the company said.

The entire project is about 100 miles of 345-kV transmission line designed to electrically connect the Dubuque County region to the Dane County, Wis., region, ITC said, noting that in Wisconsin, it will be responsible for the segment of line from the Mississippi River to a new substation near Montfort, Wis., to be built by American Transmission Company (ATC). ATC will also be responsible for the remainder of the line to Dane County, ITC said, noting that the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin last September issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity, and selected the route for the Wisconsin portion of the project.

As TransmissionHub reported, ATC in an April 23 progress report for the project, told the Wisconsin commission that the total project cost as of March 31 was about $55.9m, of the approved total project cost of about $492.2m.

Additional regulatory approvals have been obtained from federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for permission for the line to cross the Mississippi River, ITC said in its statement, adding that final permitting from those federal agencies has been received or is in process. 
As a portion of one of 17 Multi-Value Projects approved in 2011 by the Midcontinent ISO (MISO), the cost and benefits of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project are distributed throughout the multi-state northern MISO region, ITC said.

As noted in the board’s order, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative are vested with the right of eminent domain over certain properties, subject to conditions outlined in the order, in relation to the project.

According to the order, under Iowa code, if a transmission line for which a franchise has been granted and is not built in whole or in part within two years of the final order granting the franchise, the board is to revoke the franchise unless the party holding the franchise petitions the board for an extension of time.

The company noted in its statement that ITC Midwest will begin contacting Iowa property owners along the route in the coming months to discuss construction activities, with construction expected to begin in 2021, in order to meet an in-service date of 2023.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2886 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.