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3rd time's a charm: Wis. regulators accept transmission line for review

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3rd time's a charm: Wis. regulators accept transmission line for review

After twice rejecting an application for a major electric transmission line as incomplete, Wisconsin regulators accepted the proposal.

The developers of the 345-kV Cardinal-Hickory Creek line first submitted the application to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in late April, but it was declared incomplete. Supplemental information submitted in July was also deemed insufficient. Additional revisions were made in late September, and the commission on Oct. 4 accepted the application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

American Transmission Co. LLC, ITC Holdings Corp. subsidiary ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative are collectively building the line that, depending on its final route, will run 102 miles to 120 miles between the Cardinal substation in Dane County, Wis., and the Hickory Creek substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, with a new substation built near Montfort, Wis. Regional grid operator Midcontinent ISO designated the line a "multivalue project" as one of a series of lines needed to improve the region's overall reliability. Cardinal-Hickory Creek is a portion of a larger project known as MVP 5 in Wisconsin and Iowa.

The overall project is estimated to cost more than $1 billion, and the Cardinal-Hickory Creek portion is estimated at $492 million to $543 million.

The Wisconsin PSC now has 180 days to complete its initial review. That period may be extended if additional information is required. (Wisconsin PSC Docket 5-CE-146)

About 14 miles of the line is in Iowa in Clayton and Dubuque counties. ITC Midwest and Dairyland jointly applied to the Iowa Utilities Board on May 11 for approval of an electric transmission line franchise. (IUB Docket E-22386)