Town of Holland appeals Badger Coulee Transmission Line decision

Lawsuit asks court to send matter back to PSC for better analysis

The Town of Holland filed an appeal challenging the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) decision to allow Xcel Energy and American Transmission Company (ATC) to build the Badger Coulee Transmission Line.

The 345-kilovolt high-voltage transmission line will connect to the CapX2020 line at the Briggs Road Substation in Holmen, travel north to Black River Falls, and follow the I-94 corridor to Madison.

The approved route will also go through the Town of Holland. Town Chair Kathy Warzynski said the Town believes the transmission line is not needed.

“Before the PSCW released its decision, the Federal Energy Information Administration had already lowered its expectation for energy growth going forward by more than half, to just three tenths of a percent per year,” said Warzynski. “The assumptions underlying the need for this power line do not stand up. Under the trends, no additional transmission may ever be needed at all.”

The Town of Holland’s lawsuit asks the court to send the matter back to the PSC for a better analysis and an improved Environmental Impact Statement.  It also asks the court find the Town cannot be forced to accept another, separate right of way for a power line that is supposed to be justified on the basics of economics.

“Our community is already reeling from the effects of the CapX eyesore under construction alongside Highway 53,” Warzynski said. “Now we are expected to accept another right-of-way a few feet away on the other side of the highway. There is no excuse for this poor planning that is acceptable to the people of our community. We deserve better.”

Construction on the $580 million project won’t start until next spring, but ATC and Xcel Energy are expected to start negotiations with landowners along the route next month.