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Wis. order on Fortis/ITC deal centers on MISO transmission project

Wisconsin regulators on Oct. 6 issued a formal orderapproving Fortis Inc.'sacquisition of ITC Holdings Corp.,about two weeks after votingin favor of the deal.The order also covers government of Singapore-owned 's of a 19.9% interestin ITC.

ITC is a registered holding company in Wisconsin, and itssubsidiary ITC Midwest LLCis registered as a public utility in the state, though neither entity ownsassets there. The registration was necessary due to ITC Midwest's participationalong with American TransmissionCo. LLC and DairylandPower Cooperative in the proposed345-kV Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission project, which is to run about 125miles between the Cardinal substation in Middleton, Wis., in Dane County andthe Hickory Creek substation in Dubuque County, Iowa.

The Cardinal-Hickory Creek line has been designated amultivalue project by the MidcontinentIndependent System Operator Inc., specifically, project five.Following the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin's Sept. 23 vote, ITCChairman, President and CEO Joseph Welch said in a news release: "We lookforward to continuing our MVP 5 project development work with our utilitypartners in Wisconsin."

The line is not scheduled to be in service until 2023. InSeptember, ATC, ITC Midwest and Dairyland said they had revised the preliminarycorridors, adding about 200 parcels but removing about 2,800 parcels from theirmaps. The revised preliminary corridors will be submitted to the U.S. RuralUtilities Service, which will prepare the project's environmental impactstatement. Permit applications for the project are expected to be submitted toWisconsin regulators in 2018 and Iowa regulators in 2019.

The PSC in its order said ITC Midwest would lose itsWisconsin registration if it does not own or build the Cardinal-Hickory Creekline. Conditions imposed on the transaction include a limit on the percentageof voting shares that GIC's affiliate Finn Investment Pte. Ltd. may vote onmatters that may relate to ITC Midwest's operations in Wisconsin, and that thesum of all nonutility assets within the Fortis holding company system may notexceed 25% of the assets of its public utility affiliate assets. (Docket9400-YO-101)