American Transmission Co. announces open houses for Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project

From a news release issued by American Transmission Company:

Eight informational open houses to be held throughout the project study area

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. is beginning a multi-year public outreach process for the proposed Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project with the first in a series of informational open houses for residents and other stakeholders in the 150-mile project study area in late September and early October.

Studies indicate that a 345-kilovolt transmission line from the La Crosse area to the greater Madison area would provide multiple benefits to the state of Wisconsin including improved electric system reliability, economic savings for utilities and energy consumers, and better access to renewable energy.

ATC is hosting eight open houses throughout the project study area to provide stakeholders with more information about the project and answer questions.

The public is invited to attend any of the following open houses:
Monday, Sept. 27, Stoney Creek Inn, Onalaska
Tuesday, Sept. 28, Westby Coon Prairie Lutheran Church, Westby
Wednesday, Sept. 29, Kalahari Resort Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells
Thursday, Sept. 30, Sauk Prairie Community Center, Sauk City
Monday, Oct. 4, Hillsboro Fireman’s Community Center, Hillsboro
Tuesday, Oct. 5, Cranberry Country Lodge, Tomah
Wednesday, Oct. 6, Madison Marriott West Convention Center, Middleton
Thursday, Oct. 7, Grace Bible Church, Portage

Open houses at all locations run from 1 to 7 p.m.

ATC plan would upgrade local power line

From an article by Jessica Larsen in The Tomah Journal:

A Pewaukee-based company applied to rebuild and upgrade an existing 17-mile electric transmission line that connects the Monroe County substation near Sparta and one near Tomah.

American Transmission Company filed the application with the Public Service Commission on July 29 for the $36 million project. By January 2011, ATC will receive the commission’s decision. If the company gets the go-ahead, construction would begin in summer 2012 and finish in summer 2013.

ATC would also build a new Timberwolf Substation 1/2 mile south of Interstate 90 along Hwy. 131 as part of the project to improve electric system reliability.

ATC’s project plan involves replacing the structures and wires of the existing 69-kilovolt transmission line, which runs mostly along Hwy. 16, and then adding a 161-kilovolt circuit to the new steel structures.

The existing system is about 40 years old, the company reports, and is susceptible to overloads and severe low voltages. The project would increase the reliability of the electrical system. ATC also said that the project would show economic savings by increasing the system’s ability to access lower-cost generation and reducing energy loss.

Power line needs serious look

From an editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Wisconsin should ask tough questions about the need and price tag for a major, high-voltage power line stretching from the Madison area to La Crosse.

But Wisconsin also should keep an open mind as public input is sought.

Our state relies on a huge amount of imported energy. The new line would boost reliability and provide access to more of the wholesale electricity market. That could save Wisconsin ratepayers money.

The 150-mile, 345-kilovolt line also could give Wisconsin greater access to renewable wind energy generated in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Dane County isn’t getting any smaller. Our population will soon top a half million people. Though using energy more efficiently must remain a high priority, so must economic growth and jobs.

The American Transmission Co. just gained permission for a similar high-voltage line around Madison along the Beltline to boost reliability and capacity. The company plans to begin construction of the local line next year. The Rockdale-West Middleton line succeeded in part because of an open process of meetings and information that made the case for action.

ATC is now pledging to similarly engage the public as it seeks what’s being called the Badger Coulee Transmission Line project. The path of the power line is unclear. It could follow the interstate or veer more southwest toward Reedsburg, Richland Center and Viroqua.

Putting up new power lines always comes with controversy when property owners don’t want the tall poles passing by — or through — their land. Yet the potential good to the state’s economy sometimes takes precedent.

That’s why a careful and fair assessment of the proposal is so important.

American Transmission Co. announces plans for 150-mile transmission line in western Wisconsin

From a news release issued by ATC:

PEWAUKEE, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Following approximately two years of study and analysis, American Transmission Co. has determined that a 345-kilovolt transmission line from the La Crosse area to the greater Madison area would provide multiple benefits to the state of Wisconsin including improved electric system reliability, economic savings for utilities and energy consumers, and access to additional renewable energy. As it finalizes its evaluation of the multiple benefits of the project, ATC will begin the public outreach efforts on the proposed Badger Coulee Transmission Line and will host a series of open houses this fall with the public and other stakeholders in the 150-mile area from La Crosse to Madison to explore routing options for the new line.

“There are multiple benefit indicators that make the Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project a plus for Wisconsin residents and the Midwest,” says John Procario, ATC president, chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s an exciting new project because it demonstrates multiple benefits. Badger Coulee enhances electric system reliability; it provides direct energy cost savings to electricity users, and it supports the public’s desire for the greater use of renewable energy resources.”

The Badger Coulee Transmission Line will improve electric system reliability in western Wisconsin by providing increased regional electric transfer capability into Wisconsin and alleviating stability issues in the Upper Midwest. ATC’s studies also indicate that building a more efficient high-voltage line offsets the need for approximately $140 million in lower-voltage upgrades in western Wisconsin communities.

The economic benefits of the Badger Coulee Transmission Line include providing utilities with greater access to the wholesale electricity market by reducing energy congestion. A new 345-kV line in western Wisconsin will give utilities greater capability to buy and sell power within the Midwest when it’s economic to do so, and those savings can be passed on to electricity consumers. A 345-kV line also delivers electricity more efficiently than lower voltage or heavily loaded transmission lines and reduces line losses in the delivery of power.

WPPI member utilities join EPA recycling program

From a news release issued by WPPI Energy:

SUN PRAIRIE, WIS., August 25 – WPPI Energy has joined the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program. The new partnership recognizes the longstanding efforts of WPPI Energy and its member utilities to recycle and responsibly dispose of appliances based on EPA standards.

Established in 2001, WPPI Energy’s Responsible Appliance Recycling Program provides
participating members a way to responsibly reduce landfill use through the recycling of useful refrigerator and freezer parts and recovery of dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and ozone depleting substances. By partnering with the EPA, 21 participating WPPI Energy members now receive recognition as EPA program partners meeting the highest standards for disposal and recycling appliances that contain harmful refrigerants. . . .

WPPI Energy established the program as part of its ongoing effort to encourage
public and community support for energy conservation and energy efficiency. Select program participants in WPPI Energy’s Responsible Appliance Recycling Program are eligible to receive incentives for their appliances based on utility participation guidelines. Appliances eligible for turn-in incentives must meet utility guidelines and include refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers and room air conditioners in working order. The Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. (ARCA) provides
WPPI Energy members with appliance recycling services. . . .

For more information on WPPI Energy’s Responsible Appliance Recycling Program, contact Cheri Tessmann, program coordinator, at (608) 834-4537.

Member utilities of WPPI:
Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association
Algoma Utilities
Baraga Electric Utility
Black River Falls Municipal Utilities
Boscobel Utilities
Brodhead Water & Light
Cedarburg Light & Water Utility
Columbus Water & Light
Crystal Falls Electric Department
Cuba City Light & Water
Eagle River Light & Water Utility
Evansville Water & Light
Florence Utilities
Gladstone Power & Light
Hartford Electric
Hustisford Utilities
Independence Light & Power, Telecommunications
Jefferson Utilities
Juneau Utilities
Kaukauna Utilities
L’Anse Electric Utility
Lake Mills Light & Water
Lodi Utilities
Maquoketa Municipal Electric Utility
Menasha Utilities
Mount Horeb Utilities
Muscoda Utilities
Negaunee Electric Department
New Glarus Utilities
New Holstein Utilities
New London Utilities
New Richmond Utilities
Norway Power & Light
Oconomowoc Utilities
Oconto Falls Municipal Utilities
Plymouth Utilities
Prairie du Sac Utilities
Preston Municipal Electric Utility
Reedsburg Utility Commission
Richland Center, City Utilities of
River Falls Municipal Utilities
Slinger Utilities
Stoughton Utilities
Sturgeon Bay Utilities
Sun Prairie Water & Light
Two Rivers Water & Light
Waterloo Utilities
Waunakee Utilities
Waupun Utilities
Westby Utilities
Whitehall Electric Utility