Two companies asked state officials yesterday to let them build a large electric transmission line between the Madison and La Crosse areas. The long-proposed project would cost just over $550-million, stretching across about 180 miles.
The American Transmission Company and X-cel Energy said the new line would move electric power more efficiently across southern Wisconsin – provide a better link to power from Minnesota – and make it easier to import wind power from the Great Plains. The utilities say the overall result will be lower energy prices for customers in the long run. They cite total economic benefits of up to $840-million over a 40-year period.
Two routes for the new line remain under consideration. Both have attracted lots of opposition from local governments and citizen groups like Save Our Unique Lands. The state Public Service Commission will take up to a year-and-a-half to consider all the pros-and-cons. If approved, the line could start moving power by 2018.
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