ATC, ITC, Dairyland Power: Announce proposed routes for Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line project

Media contacts:

American Transmission Co.: Kaya Freiman, 877-506-6117Call: 877-506-6117, [email protected]
ITC Midwest LLC: Tom Petersen, 319-297-6793Call: 319-297-6793, [email protected]
Dairyland Power Cooperative: Katie Thomson, 608-787-1323Call: 608-787-1323, [email protected]

ATC, ITC, Dairyland Power Announce Proposed Routes for Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project

Preferred and alternate routes will be submitted to Public Service Commission of Wisconsin this spring

MADISON, WIS. ─ After years of review and public outreach, American Transmission Co., ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative are preparing to submit an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to build the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Project. The project would connect the existing Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, to the existing Cardinal Substation in Dane County, Wis. If approved, the project also will include construction of a new intermediate substation in the Montfort, Wis., area.

“After two rounds of open houses, multiple notification mailings and individual meetings over nearly four years, we have incorporated public input and identified a preferred and alternate route that we plan to submit to the PSC,” said Gregory Levesque, ATC director of environmental and local relations. “The project team worked to identify options that would largely follow existing transmission lines and highways, while balancing factors such as environmental impacts, engineering and constructability.”

ATC, ITC and Dairyland have started the process of notifying property owners along the preferred and alternate routes about the utilities’ final proposals for regulatory review. The companies are inviting landowners to meet one-on-one to discuss the project and ask questions they may have about real estate, land use and the regulatory review process. The utilities also notified property owners with property on segments that are still under study as part of the federal process, but are not along a preferred or alternate route that will be submitted to the PSC. Only one route would be built from the Cardinal Substation to the Hickory-Creek Substation if the project is approved.

“Our hope is to be able to meet with all potentially affected property owners prior to filing our application,” said Angela Jordan, ITC area manager for local government and community affairs. “We appreciate the significant amount of public input we have received since announcing the project in 2014 and we want to be available to discuss the proposed routes and answer questions from property owners.”

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., the regional electric grid operator, approved the need for the approximately $500 million, 345,000-volt project as part of a portfolio of 17 transmission line projects that were identified as Multi-Value Projects. These projects are expected to deliver multiple benefits to electric consumers across the Midwest region by improving electric system reliability, providing economic benefits to utilities and electric consumers, and expanding electric infrastructure to support public policy for greater use of renewable energy.

“Dairyland’s cooperative members—and energy users across the region—depend on a reliable, safe transmission system to meet their needs every day,” said Ben Porath, Dairyland vice president, power delivery. “Investing in a robust transmission system is necessary for regional reliability, particularly in light of how the sources of electricity generation are changing. This project also will support stable energy prices by reducing grid congestion. Cardinal-Hickory Creek also will help sustain renewable energy generation growth. Dairyland is committed to diversifying its generation portfolio with more renewable resources to benefit our electric cooperative members, and the ability to reliably transport that energy will be of great importance.”

As part of the project evaluation process, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service will prepare an environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The project also will require state regulatory approvals from Wisconsin and Iowa agencies as well as federal approvals from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers. The utilities are planning to begin the regulatory review process in Iowa this spring. Based on the regulatory process and involvement of multiple local, state and federal regulatory agencies, the companies are anticipating that the project would be in service in 2023.

For more information, including project maps, visit