The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin is holding technical hearings this week in Madison as they assess the need and impact of the American Transmission Company (ATC) LLC and Northern States Power Company ‘s joint application to construct and operate a high voltage 345 kV electricity transmission line called Badger-Coulee line from the La Crosse area in Lacrosse County to the greater Madison area in Dane County, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) will determine whether and where American Transmission Company (ATC) and Xcel Energy may build the line, which could encroach on as many as 556 residences, as well as forest and public lands. The transmission line is expected to cost up to $580 million.
Opponents of the project say the project is not needed and and that it would allow utilities to profit by trading energy while discouraging more cost-effective alternatives such as energy efficiency and solar power.
The PSC held five public hearings in December with the majority of those speaking voicing opposition to the project.
At the technical hearings this week, commissioners are hearing from the applicants, the PSC’s professional staff, and 25 registered intervenors.
The 3-member commission, with 2 of the 3 of the commissioners having been appointed by Governor Walker, is expected to issue a final decision in April, 2015.