A joint venture of American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative, the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line would stretch across more than 100 miles of the Driftless area. The $500 million costs -- and any possible benefits -- would be shared by ratepayers in 12 states. Wisconsin’s share is about $70 million.
Utilities and some environmental groups say it would deliver cheap, clean wind energy from Iowa, saving ratepayers money. Opponents question the public value, saying it would enable little new wind energy and damage important conservation areas.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will host meetings March 13-20 to hear comments on its environmental review of the high-voltage line known as Cardinal-Hickory Creek, which would connect Dubuque and Middleton.
As the Public Service Commission grapples with another controversial power line some opponents question whether the law allows enough time to thoroughly vet the $500 million Cardinal-Hickory Creek project.
Members of the public can offer opinions on the $500 million high-voltage transmission line known as Cardinal-Hickory Creek during meetings June 25-27 in Madison, Dodgeville and Lancaster.
Wisconsin Democrat calls on the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to conduct “a meaningful analysis” of alternatives to the 345-kilovolt transmission line as well as other possible spots to cross the Mississippi River.
Attorneys for the utilities have sought to question Driftless Area Land Conservancy executive director David Clutter and to force the land trust to turn over eight years of internal communications regarding the line and to identify “the individual/s that first proposed having DALC oppose the Project.”
As intervening parties, they will be able to offer testimony from expert witnesses, cross-examine witneses and request information -- including trade secrets -- from the applicants, American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative.
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says employees of two utilities made more than $338,000 in political contributions between 2010 and 2017.
The Driftless Area Land Conservancy is expected to file a request Wednesday with the PSC for $80,000 to cover half the cost of hiring the experts. The nonprofit conservation group will raise the other half.
The government shutdown created some confusion about the meetings, which are still listed on the USDA website. Agency phones went unanswered Tuesday, and outgoing messages indicated furloughed employees do not have access to email or voicemail.
If plans for the line are canceled for reasons beyond their control the owners would be allowed to bill consumers for all “prudently incurred costs."
If approved, the $500 million Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-voltage power line would alter the landscape and the way of life for scores of families and businesses.
Conservation and environmental groups say the U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to consider alternatives in its draft environmental review.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission on Thursday declared the Cardinal-Hickory Creek application complete, triggering a 180-day review period of the project, which has an estimated price tag of more than $500 million and is expected to cost Wisconsin consumers up to $72 million.
Three utility companies want to build a 345-kilovolt transmission line from Middleton's Cardinal Substation to Dubuque, Iowa.
Developers of the planned Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line from the Madison area to Iowa have shrunk the two corridors under consideration.