The co-owners of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project – ATC, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative – have made significant progress on the 102-mile line, with construction about 95% complete. While litigation delayed some of the work of the federal agencies involved in the project, the favorable July 19 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims in the federal NEPA and Refuge Act case clears the way for the completion of the remaining segments.
The federal agencies recently updated their schedule for completion of their environmental review. Under this schedule, the construction on the eastern half of the project – from the Hill Valley Substation to the Cardinal Substation – is expected to be completed in December 2023, which will allow that section of the line to be placed into service this year. The co-owners expect that construction on the western half of the project – from the Hickory Creek Substation to the Hill Valley Substation – will be completed and placed into service in June 2024. The co-owners will continue to work closely with the federal agencies to support their final authorizations to allow for completion of the entire project by June 28, 2024.
The co-owner utilities look forward to completing the project to deliver the many benefits it will provide to energy consumers. The project is an essential bridge that enables renewable energy to be brought to market, resulting in a significant reduction in carbon emissions. As of January 2023, there were 115 generation projects in Wisconsin and four other states representing more than 17 gigawatts of renewable energy dependent upon the project’s construction – enough to power millions of homes with clean energy.
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project will provide a vital pathway to help ensure the cost-effective, renewable and reliable energy that consumers are seeking is available and affordable. The project will reduce energy costs, improve the reliability and flexibility of the region’s transmission system, and support the interconnection of renewable generation across the Upper Midwest.