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ATC and Xcel Energy file state regulatory application to build Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project

Line would extend from north of La Crosse area to northern Dane County

MADISON, Wis. – Following years of analysis and community involvement, American Transmission Co. and Xcel Energy today filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin seeking approval to build an approximately 160- to 180-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line from the La Crosse area to northern Dane County.

The Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project has been designated a Multi-Value Project by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator because it will enable the delivery of energy in support of reliability, economic and public policy benefits. Studies indicate that the project will offset the need for about $160 million in lower voltage upgrades in western Wisconsin, provide increased access to the wholesale energy market and could provide $259 million to $841 million in net economic benefits over the life of the project. The project also would establish another pathway for renewable energy into Wisconsin with a connection to key load centers. 

The PSC requires ATC and Xcel Energy to propose two route options for the transmission line. More than 90 percent of the approximately 182-mile northern route uses existing utility and Interstate or U.S. Highway corridors, and about 60 percent of the approximately 159-mile southern route uses shared corridors. Both route options have the same end points: Xcel Energy’s new Briggs Road Substation near Holmen and ATC’s North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna, continuing to ATC’s Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton. If the project is approved, the PSC will select the final route. The estimated cost is $514 million to $552 million, depending on the route.

“We appreciate the public’s active involvement over the past several years in helping us evaluate possible routes,” said ATC Environmental and Local Relations Manager Greg Levesque.  “We’ve looked at hundreds of paths for these lines and made adjustments based on what we learned from area landowners, businesses, community organizations and local officials.”

“The regulatory review process should take 12 to 18 months,” said Xcel Energy Project Manager David Rockwell. “During that time, the PSC will provide opportunities for the public and other stakeholders to get involved.”

If the project is approved, construction of the project would begin in 2016 to meet an in-service date of 2018.

Note to editors: A map of the final route options and additional project information are available at www.BadgerCoulee.com

ATC and Xcel Energy’s application with the PSC can be found by visiting www.psc.wi.gov and entering Docket No. 5-CE-142 (current docket number) or 137-CE-160 (previous docket number).

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About ATC
ATC is a Wisconsin-based utility that owns, operates, builds and maintains the high-voltage electric transmission system serving portions of the Upper Midwest. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $2.8 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of its infrastructure. ATC now is a $3.3 billion company with 9,480 miles of transmission lines and 529 substations. The company is a member of the MISO regional transmission organization, and provides nondiscriminatory service to all customers, supporting effective competition in energy markets without favoring any market participant. For more information, visit www.atcllc.com.

About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company, with retail operations in eight Western and Midwestern states, including Wisconsin. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis, and Wisconsin-Michigan operating company headquarters are located in Eau Claire, Wis. For more information about Xcel Energy visit www.xcelenergy.com.

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American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of the Upper Midwest. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $4.1 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of its infrastructure. ATC now has $4.4 billion in assets, including more than 9,540 miles of transmission lines and 548 substations. The company is a member of the MISO regional transmission organization, and provides nondiscriminatory service to all customers, supporting effective competition in energy markets without favoring any market participant. For more information, visit our website at www.atcllc.com.

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