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Line would bring power from La Crosse to Madison

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Xcel Energy and American Transmission Co. have filed an application with the state to build a power line that would bring electricity from western Wisconsin to the Madison area.

The proposed 345-kilovolt Badger Coulee line would run 159 to 182 miles from the La Crosse area to a substation in Middleton. Building it would cost an estimated $514 million to $552 million, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

“This line is a very important project for ATC and Xcel Energy,” ATC spokeswoman Kaya Freiman said. “It’s additional interstate connections into Wisconsin, which improves access not only to more energy but to more renewable energy.”

The utility has proposed two routes for the project. One would go through Black River Falls and Blair before hitting Holmen, north of La Crosse. The other would run through Portage, Lyndon Station, Rockland, Onalaska and then go north to Holmen.

More than 90 municipalities and 2,000 citizens have signed petitions asking the Wisconsin Public Service Commission look at alternatives such as more conservation and renewable energy.

“Expanding transmission and centralized power does not fit with the image most people have of the energy future,” Mauston dairy farmer Jane Powers said. “Building these lines across the state would be like us spending billions on expanding land line phone service as we move more and more toward cellular phones.”

The Public Service Commission is expected to take until 2015 to review the proposal and analyze its environmental impact and its route. If approved, construction would likely start in 2016 and the line could be in service in 2018.

Information from: Wisconsin State Journal,

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