MADISON ó The
three utility companies planning a high-powered transmission line
from the Madison area to Iowa have picked a preferred route that
runs along existing highway and power line corridors rather than
farms and fields.
345-kilovolt Cardinal-Hickory Creek line would run along Highway
18-151 from the Cardinal electrical substation in Middleton, go west
from Dodgeville to Montfort, head southwest to Cassville and then
move south to the Hickory Creek substation near Dubuque, Iowa, the
Wisconsin State Journal reported . American Transmission Co., ITC
Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative are working together on the
$500 million project. The preferred route is more than 100 miles
long, while an alternate route would add 20 miles to the line, said
Kaya Freiman, an ATC spokeswoman.
The project will
improve the electric systemís reliability, provide economic benefits
to utilities and consumers and support renewable energy, said the
Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the regional electric grid
operator. Opponents argue that the line and its tall towers would
damage important conservation areas.