Cardinal Hickory Creek Transmission Project

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Final Decision Issued

On September 26, 2019 the Commission issued a final decision for this project. At the time of final decision the anticipated start date of construction was October 2020 with completion by December 2023.

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Quarterly construction updates and post decision correspondence between the Commission and the Applicant can be found in the corresponding docket reports.

Docket Reports: 5-CE-146

Dubuque County, Iowa to Dane County, Wisconsin

Docket ID: 5-CE-146

American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest LLC, and Dairyland Power Cooperative, have applied for Authority to Construct and Operate a New 345 kV Transmission Line from the Existing Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, to the Existing Cardinal Substation in Dane County, Wisconsin, to be Known as the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project.

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Application Summary

Applicant's Stated Need: The Applicants state that the proposed project would provide substantial net economic, reliability, and public policy benefits to Wisconsin, Iowa, and the region. The applicants also state that the project would provide flexibility for the regional transmission system to respond to the ever-changing energy markets and generation portfolios.

Estimated Cost: The total project cost, including the portions that would be paid for by the entire MISO region, is between $492M and $543M, depending on the route chosen for the transmission line, but the entire cost would not be borne by Wisconsin customers. If the project is approved, Wisconsin customers will pay for approximately $66M to $72M of the total project costs (depending on the route chosen); the rest of the projects costs would be shared by the rest of the MISO region.

Project Timeline: ATC anticipates commencing substation construction in October 2020 and transmission line construction in October 2021, and placing the transmission line and substation in service in December 2023.

Project Location (view map): ATC has developed a Preferred Route and other route segments for this project. In Wisconsin, the proposed routes would cross the Mississippi River near Cassville, WI, and travel to the existing Cardinal Substation in Middleton, Dane County.

  • Mississippi River Crossing to a new Substation in Hill Valley (Montfort, WI): The Preferred Route is approximately 34 miles in length and passes through Grant County. The Alternate Route is approximately 52 miles in length and passes through Grant, Lafayette, and Iowa counties.
  • From a new Hill Valley Substation (Montfort, WI) to the Cardinal Substation (Middleton, WI): The Preferred Route is approximately 53 miles in length and the Alternate Route is approximately 50.3 miles in length. Both routes pass through Grant, Iowa, and Dane counties.
Statutory Review

This is a Type I project under Wis. Admin. Code § PSC 4.10(1). The Commission and the Department of Natural Resources will jointly prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project.

  • A draft EIS will be issued in early 2019.
  • There will be a 45-day comment period after the draft EIS is issued.
  • Comments received will be used to prepare a final EIS, which is anticipated to be issued in Spring, 2019.
  • The final EIS will be one subject of a hearing in the project area to be held later in the review process.

PSC transmission line review process overview.


Key Application Documents


Case Contacts and Additional Information

Access Docket 5-CE-​146 in the PSC Case Management System to view additional information.

Utilize the Staff Involved tab for contact details for PSC staff assigned to the docket, including the case coordinator and the environmental review coordinator.

Click the Documents tab for a complete list of docket documents categorized by document type.

Access Docket 5-CE-146

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