American Transmission Company (ATC) on April 27 told the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin that the total cost of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project as of March 31 was about $92.5m, noting that the approved total project cost is about $492.2m.
As noted in the progress report for the period Jan. 1 through March 31 — which the company and ITC Midwest LLC filed on behalf of themselves as the project’s construction managers and co-permittee, Dairyland Power Cooperative — ATC is managing the construction of the Hill Valley substation and the transmission line between the Hill Valley and Cardinal substations. Construction segments are designated E-1, Hill Valley Substation to Dodgeville; E-2, Dodgeville to Mt. Horeb; and E-3, Mt. Horeb to the Cardinal substation.
ITC Midwest is managing the transmission line construction between the Hickory Creek substation in Iowa and the Hill Valley substation. ATC added that construction segments in Wisconsin are designated W-1, Nelson Dewey to Lancaster, and W-2, Lancaster to the Hill Valley Substation.
ATC said that it expects to begin construction of the Hill Valley substation in 4Q21, and that it expects to begin construction of substation upgrades at the Nelson Dewey substation in 4Q21.
Discussing transmission line construction, the company said that it anticipates beginning construction with vegetation clearing on Segment E-3 in 4Q21, while ITC Midwest anticipates starting construction with vegetation clearing on Segment W-1 in 4Q21.
ITC Midwest Iowa Segment 2 will also include setting structures on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River at the Nelson Dewey substation, which is anticipated to take place in 4Q21, and stringing conductor across the Mississippi River, which is anticipated to take place in 1Q23.
Discussing engineering and construction, ATC said that Dairyland expects to initiate engineering activities at the Stoneman substation in 2Q21.
As TransmissionHub reported, the commission in September 2019 approved the issuance for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for the project, finalizing approval for the Wisconsin portion of the project, and outlining the requirements that must be met in the construction of the 345-kV transmission line and substation in Wisconsin, according to a statement from ATC.
ATC in August 2019 said that it, ITC Midwest, and Dairyland Power Cooperative – collectively referred to as the applicants – received approval for the project from the Wisconsin state commissioners, who, at their Aug. 20, 2019, open meeting, verbally approved issuance of the CPCN, and selected the route for the Wisconsin portion of the project.
As noted in the final decision – which has a service date of Sept. 26, 2019 – the applicants in April 2018 filed with the commission an application for a CPCN to build new 345-kV electric transmission facilities. The project includes construction of a new 345-kV electric transmission line from the existing Cardinal substation in Dane County, Wis., to the Hickory Creek substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, as well as construction of the new Hill Valley substation in Grant County, Wis.
The commission said that it finds that the applicants and such intervenors as the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) demonstrated that the vast majority of renewable generation development in the MISO region is planned to, and is more likely to, happen in areas to the west of Wisconsin. That, the commission said, supports its finding that the project is needed to relieve congestion that is likely to increase as a result of the substantial amount of renewables planned to come online over the course of the life of the project, and an economic analysis shows that as that renewable development increases, the economic benefits of the project are likely to increase.
The commission said that it grants the applicants a CPCN for construction of the project using either the Nelson Dewey or Stoneman crossings and the corresponding Nelson Dewey-North or Stoneman-North routes; the Western-North alternative; the Eastern-South along with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the Eastern-South:Stagecoach modifications; as well as the Black Earth Creek-South alternative, at an estimated cost of about $492m, with an estimated $429m of which would be attributable to the portion of the project to be located in Wisconsin.
As noted in the order, the Mississippi River Routing Area is located near Cassville, Wis., and lies entirely within Grant County. The applicants provided two locations – referred to as the Nelson Dewey and Stoneman crossings – for the crossing of the Mississippi River. The commission added that a new Mississippi River crossing is proposed that would connect the Wisconsin portion of the project at the Nelson Dewey substation. At the Stoneman crossing, there are existing 161-kV and 69-kV electric transmission lines that cross the Mississippi River connecting at the existing Stoneman substation. The commission also said that each of those crossing options includes two separate route alternatives – North and South – that connect to route alternatives in the Western Routing Area, which is located in Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette counties.