WisBusiness: PSC approves ATC Waunakee transmission line

By Brian E. Clark

MADISON – In a 2-0 vote, the state Public Service Commission today gave final approval to construction of a high-voltage, American Transmission Co. (ATC) power line near Waunakee. Construction will begin next year.

Commissioner Lauren Azar, a lawyer who has represented ATC, abstained. Chairman Daniel Ebert and Commissioner Mark Meyer voted for it.

The eight-mile line, 138-kilovot line – known officially as the North Madison-Huiskamp project – will run from Vienna to Westport.

ATC said it is needed to “accommodate the robust growth in recent years” and the increase in electric consumption.

The $15 million project was opposed by the Sierra Club and Citizens for Responsible Energy (CRE), both of which questioned the need for the line.

James Butcher, a spokesman for CRE, criticized the deicision.

“It is most unfortunate that the PSC has accepted the analysis of ATC and the utilities that stand so thinly disguised behind it,” he said.

“A few unfortunate families should not be singled out due to the location of their home to bear the cost of the utilities’ lust for increased profits and their misguided expectations of future growth in energy usage.”