Real estate acquisition work on Badger Coulee Line to begin in May

Northern route selected in March

American Transmission Company (ATC) and Xcel Energy will start contacting landowners along the approximately 180-mile Badger Coulee Transmission Line in May to being the real estate acquisition process.

The estimated $580 million project was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in March. The approved northern route will go through through the Town of Holland.

On Thursday, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved the formal order outlining the requirements that must be met in the construction of the Badger Coulee Transmission Line.

The project will electrically connect the La Crosse area to northern Dane county and “will help ensure electric reliability for communities throughout western Wisconsin and improve access to lower-cost power and renewable energy,” ATC and Xcel Energy stated in a joint news release.

Construction is set to begin in spring 2016, but negotiations with landowners will begin in May to acquire easements along the route. ATC and Xcel Energy said negotiations, along with construction, will be sequenced over eight segments, working from south to north.

“We look forward to continuing our discussion with landowners,” Xcel Siting and Land Rights Manager Sarah Schwartz said in a statement. “Public input was critical in identifying a route, which resulted in a line that will use existing utility and highway corridors for more than 90 percent of the approved route.”

ATC and Xcel Energy said the project cost will be shared among all electric users in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) footprint, which includes 15 Midwestern states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The project is expected to be placed in service in 2018.

A map of the approved route and additional project information can be found at www.BadgerCoulee.com.