American Transmission Co. projects

Project website for a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the high-voltage electric transmission system that powers communities in portions of the Upper Midwest.

Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project


American Transmission Co. and Xcel Energy have received approval to build a 180-mile, 345-kilovolt transmission line in from the Briggs Road Substation north of La Crosse to northern Dane County that will address electric system reliability issues locally and in the Midwest, provide economic savings and support renewable energy policy.

A jointly developed projectXcel Energy logo

American Transmission Co. and Xcel Energy jointly developed the Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project. Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company, ATC Logowith retail operations in eight Western and Midwestern states, including Wisconsin. American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based transmission-only utility that owns, operates, builds and maintains transmission facilities in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois.

A multi-benefit project

It has been determined that the Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project is a multi-benefit project that will deliver benefits to Wisconsin and the Midwest region in three important ways:

Improve electric system reliability locally and regionally

  • Better enable Wisconsin to import power
  • Offset the need for approximately $160 million to $180 million in lower voltage upgrades in western Wisconsin communities
  • Alleviate stability issues on regional transmission grid

Deliver economic savings for Wisconsin utilities and electric consumers

  • Provide utilities with greater access to the wholesale electricity market with potential savings that can be passed on to electric consumers
  • Improve efficiency of grid; more efficient grid reduces the cost to deliver energy
  • Connect to high-quality renewable resources in the nation’s western wind alley, which translates into hundreds of millions of dollars in potential savings

Expand infrastructure to support public policy for greater use of renewables

  • Establish another pathway for renewable energy into Wisconsin with connections to key load centers
  • Match regional studies (Strategic Midwest Area Renewable Transmission Study and MISO Regional Generation Outlet Study) evaluating transmission options that best deliver renewable energy while also addressing reliability issues

Public involvement

ATC and Xcel Energy have a practice of engaging the public and other interested stakeholders in its proposed transmission line projects as a way to identify possible routes far in advance of filing a regulatory application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.  Click here to learn more about ATC’s public involvement process.

Project at a glance
Area benefited:Western Wisconsin communities, the state of Wisconsin and the entire Midwest region
Line length:Approximately 180 miles
Voltage:345,000 volts
Estimated cost:Approximately $580 million
End points:The southern end point of the line will be the North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna, continuing to the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton. The western end point of the line will be Xcel Energy's new Briggs Road Substation near Holmen.
PSC Docket ID:5-CE-142 (current docket number)
137-CE-160 (previous docket number)
Click here to visit the PSC website.
*Dates are anticipated and subject to changes
Public involvement:2010-2012
Submit application to Public Service Commission:2013
Receive PSC decision:April 2015
Begin construction:2016
In-service date:2018