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$580M power line put into service in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A high-voltage power line built across western Wisconsin has been put into service after almost three years of construction.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the 180-mile, $580 million Badger Coulee line went into service on Wednesday. It’s a joint venture of American Transmission Co. and various utilities, including Xcel Energy and Dairyland Power Cooperative.

Supporters say the line running from Holmen to Middleton will enable clean and cheap wind energy from Minnesota and Iowa to reach big cities where there’s demand for it.

Opponents consider it an unnecessary expense that guarantees profits for the owners of the line while discouraging conservation and local renewable-energy investments.

Wisconsin ratepayers will cover about $87 million of the costs, which are shared by customers in 15 Midwestern states and one Canadian province.

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