Business, labor, renewable groups support evaluation of transmission line

Posted on September 30, 2010. Filed under: Transmission |

For Immediate Release
September 29, 2010

For More Information Contact:
Dave Poklinkoski: (608) 256-8896
Brandon Scholz: (608) 244-7150
Michael Vickerman: (608) 255-4044


MADISON, Wis. – American Transmission Co. (ATC) recently announced that, after two years of study, a 345-kilovolt transmission line from the La Crosse area to DaneCounty would provide multiple benefits to Wisconsin electric consumers. These benefits include improved electric system reliability, economic savings for Wisconsin utilities and electric consumers, and improved access to renewable energy resources. ATC is finalizing its planning evaluation of the 150-mile Badger Coulee Transmission Line project and began public outreach efforts this week with a series of open houses in eight
Wisconsin communities.

A broad group of organizations with a direct stake in Wisconsin energy issues today released the attached letters supporting ATC’s evaluation of the need and multiple benefits of the Badger Coulee Transmission Line. These organizations include:
+ The Utility Workers Coalition representing over 28,000 workers in the energy industry,
+ Several labor unions involved in Wisconsin’s utility industry (IBEW Local 2150, IBEW Local 953, IBEW Local 2304, IBEW Local 965, IUOE Local 310),
+ Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), a statewide advocate for the business community,
+ RENEW Wisconsin, the state’s leading renewable energy advocacy organization,
+ Wisconsin Grocers Association, the state’s representative and advocate of the
grocery industry,
+ Midwest Food Processors Association, a regional trade association advocating on behalf of food processing companies,
+ Wisconsin Technology Council, a statewide leader and catalyst for the development of science and technology-based businesses, and
+ Wisconsin Business Council, a statewide business group focused on improving the state’s business climate.

These organizations intend to participate actively in ATC’s continuing planning and public outreach activities for the Badger Coulee Transmission Line and in any subsequent regulatory proceedings regarding the project.

“ATC’s initial results show that this project has the potential for improving electric reliability in Wisconsin, reducing energy congestion, and saving electric customers money. This would provide multiple benefits to our members who rely on their electric supply and want to keep their costs down,” said Brandon Scholz, President and CEO of
the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

Dave Poklinkoski, President of IBEW Local 2304, commented, “A strong 345-kV connection to the west would give Wisconsin utilities increased access to the wholesale electric market enabling them to buy and sell electricity when pricing situations are advantageous. Such a high-voltage connection also delivers power where it’s needed
more efficiently and reduces line losses in the delivery of power.”

Michael Vickerman, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin, explained, “Parts of Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas are blessed with strong winds. Right now most of these areas are not well integrated into the regional transmission system. As Wisconsin transitions to increased use of renewable energy, we will need to expand regional transmission capacity to tap wind energy both inside and outside of Wisconsin.”


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    A statewide nonprofit dedicated to promoting economically and environmentally sustainable energy policies and practices in Wisconsin.


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