American Transmission Company is gearing up for a 150-mile high-voltage power line between La Crosse and Madison. But it's expected to be a long process.
Company spokeswoman Anne Spaltholz says it will be two to three years before ATC officially applies to build the line, called the Badger Coulee Transmission Project.
"We are just kicking off our public outreach on this," Spaltholz says, adding that several informational meetings are being scheduled (including Oct. 6, 1-7 p.m., at the Madison Marriott West). "There's a lot of give and take there on where people want to see it or don't want to see it."
The line would be more efficient and allow utilities to buy and sell electricity more easily. It would also provide better access to electricity generated by wind in North and South Dakota. "We know there's a lot of wind potential in North and South Dakota, but you need to expand the infrastructure," Spaltholz says.
More information about the project can be found at www.badgercoulee.com, including a study map and a timetable. "The study area right now is actually very large, because we don't know exactly where it's going to go," Spaltholz says. "In the next two years, we'll narrow that to two routes."