Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project planning

40-year net economic benefit of the Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project

Future Scenario
Net Present Value ($M)
Robust Economy$700
Green Economy$664
Regional Wind$568
Carbon Constrained$472
Limited Investment$356
Slow Growth$118
Robust Economy

High energy and peak demand rates and moderate wind generation expansion

Green Economy

High energy and moderate peak demand rates and high wind generation expansion

Regional Wind

Moderate energy and peak demand rates and high wind generation expansion

Carbon Constrained

Low energy and peak demand rates and moderate wind generation expansion

Limited Investment

Slightly below moderate energy and peak demand rates and low wind generation expansion

Slow Growth

Low energy and peak demand rates and low wind generation expansion

Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project economic analysis

A Strategic Flexibility methodology was utilized to set up the analytical framework of the economic analysis for the Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project. Strategic Flexibility is an analytical approach used to assist organizations in making major investment decisions in an uncertain environment. The premise of Strategic Flexibility is that, because we do not know the future, high-cost transmission projects should be tested against a range of plausible futures. These plausible futures are to bound the range of plausible outcomes, and not to identify the most likely future. The project is tested against each of the futures and should be chosen only if it is successful in most of the futures. The objective is to identify projects that are economically robust across a range of plausible futures.

ATC developed six scenarios that were designed to bound the range of plausible futures for the Badger Coulee project. Through this process, six futures were identified and developed so that they are sufficiently different from each other and would capture a wide range of plausible outcomes. ATC built the futures by identifying variables or drivers that would most impact the results of the Badger Coulee economic analysis and determining how those drivers would behave in each scenario. The plausible futures were designed to describe possible market conditions that could exist in 2020 and 2026.

The drivers identified by ATC are:

  • Load growth inside and outside of the ATC footprint
  • Total small coal retirements or conversions to natural gas within the ATC footprint
  • Expected generation additions within the ATC footprint
  • Amount and source of renewable energy consumed in Wisconsin
  • Natural gas, coal and fuel oil prices
  • Environmental regulations
  • Applicable renewable portfolio standards in Wisconsin and regionally
  • Nearby extra high voltage transmission projects and regional transmission overlays
  • Expected generation additions outside the ATC footprint