Fri May 11, 2012
PSC approves transmission project and route
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has approved a major power transmission project and chosen the route the transmission lines will take.
PSC commissioners agree there is local need for CapX2020's increased transmission and 345 kV power lines. They also say it’s an important link in the larger Midwest energy transmission upgrade.
The lines begin in the Dakotas, and will cross the Mississippi River at Alma. It will then head south on Highway 35, which is the Great River Road. Just north of Trempealeau, the lines will stretch east to Galesville, then travel south to Holmen.
PSC Chairman Phil Montgomery says the route best serves the public interest. He says it crosses the second lowest amount of farmland, has the second lowest cost, and avoids environmentally sensitive wetlands, “I understand the Q1-Galesville route passes more homes than some of the more rural options, but I far prefer this option over the 345 kV on the more heavily rural Arcadia route or the more scenic rolling hills of Highway 88.”
The commissioners all say it was a difficult decision, considering the pushback from some state agencies and public opposition.
Citizens Energy Task Force's George Nygaard says he disagrees with the PSC’s decision, “It’s a bummer certainly for our group, but it should be a bad thing for all ratepayers and people who are going to impacted by eminent domain and that sort of thing, taking away their land in western Wisconsin.”
Nygaard says increased power production should focus on local and renewable generation, not bringing in energy from the West.