(5/10/12) A state panel gave its approval today to a new high-voltage electric transmission line north of La Crosse.
The Public Service Commission ruled that the proposed 345-thousand-volt power line from Holmen to Alma is needed to help provide the region’s demand for electricity, although the line’s opponents disagreed. Commissioner Ellen Nowak said the line also provides the added benefits of transferring power among states, according to where it’s needed the most. She also said the new line supports policies which favor the use of renewable resources. That’s because it will be part of the Cap-X-2020 project, which will transmit power between the Dakotas and Madison – including environmentally-friendly wind power along the way, mainly to the west. The P-S-C changed the route slightly in Holmen, to reduce the numbers of properties where the line will go through. State transportation officials wanted the line buried along the Mississippi River so the beauty of the Great River Road is not compromised. But the commission rejected the concerns, and said the extra cost of underground wires is not reasonable. As it is, the new line will cost around 200-million dollars.