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Letter to the editor: Badger Coulee is critical to clean energy’s future

The Badger Coulee Transmission Line, planned to run from La Crosse to Madison, is an important infrastructure investment that will increase our use of clean, renewable energy in Wisconsin.

Regional wind power is one of many important tools to cost-effectively replace aging and inefficient power plants. The Badger Coulee line is critical because wind power is best utilized over a larger geographic area.

The line is one of 17 planned throughout the Midwest to better move wind power through the region and facilitate an estimated $50 billion worth of wind farm development.

Midwestern wind farms already have to be curtailed, essentially turned off, during windy times when there is no path to move the power. Badger Coulee will significantly reduce that wasted clean electricity.

Most importantly, Wisconsin will benefit in many ways. Wind power is now the lowest-cost source of new electricity, and Badger Coulee gives us more access to it.

Over time, that will put downward pressure on customer rates. Our wind component manufacturers will benefit from increased investments. In addition, access to regional wind power will help us more cost-effectively meet forthcoming federal rules to reduce carbon emissions.

Our future requires an all-of-the-above clean energy approach. We need more investment in energy efficiency, Wisconsin-based renewable energy and access to regional renewable energy to replace the capabilities of existing power plants and have the best mix of clean energy resources for the future.

Tyler Huebner
executive director,
RENEW Wisconsin

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