ST. PAUL, MINN. (April 26, 2019) – Today, direct testimony
was filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in the Cardinal-Hickory
Creek transmission line case (Case # 5-CE-146). A group of clean energy organizations (CEOs)
are a Party to the case, support the line, and are sponsoring several expert witnesses.
Expert witnesses include technical witness Michael Goggin, Grid Strategies and
renewables developer Chad Craven, Savion, LLC.
The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy represents the CEOs.
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line is a needed
addition to the Midwest electric grid that will deliver multiple benefits. The new
transmission line will help facilitate the Midwest’s transition to clean,
renewable energy while offering reliability, energy security, and enabling an
economic wholesale power market. The
project will reduce congestion, improve access to new, economic wind and solar
projects, and reduce curtailment from operating wind farms. The cost of wind
has fallen 66 percent since 2009, and solar costs have plummeted 85 percent
over the same time period. In addition,
the line will deliver approximately $22 million to $349 million in economic
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission Line is the final Midcontinent
Independent System Operator (MISO) Multi-Value Project (MVP) to move through
the state regulatory approval process. MISO filings
at FERC continue to show benefits of the MVP portfolio far in excess of the
cost of the projects and well above the benefits originally projected. Individually, this transmission line is
projected to save
approximately $151 million by eliminating the need to upgrade 13 other
lower-voltage transmission projects. MISO has determined that no other
transmission alternative will be as cost-effective as this project in
connecting Northwestern Iowa with Southeastern and south central Wisconsin. MISO also concluded that non-transmission
alternatives are not feasible.
“Clean Grid Alliance is glad to be representing our industry
members who are developing renewable energy projects in Wisconsin and
surrounding states and have MISO Interconnection Agreements that require
Cardinal-Hickory Creek to deliver energy from their projects,” said CGA
Executive Director Beth Soholt. “The new
transmission line is a critical piece of infrastructure that will not only
facilitate renewable energy development, but will provide additional robustness
to the electric grid. There are thousands of megawatts of new wind and solar
that are depending on Cardinal-Hickory Creek, as well as existing wind projects
that cannot deliver their full output due to lack of transmission capacity. This is the last line of the MVP portfolio.
Plans have been made based on the expectation that this line would be built.
Upsetting the apple cart at this critical time would be a devastating blow to
the industry, and will increase overall costs because it simply delays the
“The clean energy economy we are moving towards requires
next-generation transmission lines, like the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project. Energy
efficiency and distributed generation alone will not get us to the carbon-free
economy our region needs and which a changing climate demands,” said Fresh
Energy Senior Director of Energy Markets and Regulatory Affairs Allen Gleckner.
“In addition to rooftop solar and energy efficiency measures, we will also need
a significant portion of our electricity from large-scale wind and solar. Clean
energy transmission, like Cardinal-Hickory Creek, is critical to connecting the
thousands of megawatts of large-scale wind and solar in the development
pipeline in Wisconsin and throughout the Upper Midwest.”
“As a $500 million investment, the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission
line will be a wide-ranging employment and economic development opportunity for
Wisconsin, with stable, family-supporting wages in our community and throughout
the Upper Midwest. Moreover, the project will provide much needed transmission
stability and allow Wisconsin to access low-cost renewable energy from western
states,” said Terry McGowan, President and Business Manager of the
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139. “The Wisconsin
Operating Engineers are looking forward to the broad economic benefits this
transmission line will have for our state and region.”
Cardinal-Hickory Creek project will facilitate the supply of clean, low-cost
electric energy while simultaneously increasing reliability. “Those are
exactly the types of considerations Wisconsin law requires,” said Amelia Vohs, Staff
Attorney at Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. “That's why the PSC
should approve this project.”
# # #
About Clean Grid
Alliance (CGA): Clean Grid Alliance is a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance
renewable energy in the Midwest. Its members are comprised of wind, solar, and
storage developers, environmental organizations, public interest groups, clean
energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to
the wind, solar, and storage industries.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 651-644-3400
About Fresh Energy: Fresh Energy is an independent, nonprofit,
policy organization working to speed Minnesota’s transition to a clean energy
economy, which will ensure that our region enjoys good health, a vibrant
economy, and thriving communities today and for generations to come.
email@example.com | 651 726
About Operating Engineers Local 139: Established in 1902, Operating Engineers
Local 139 is a statewide trade union that primarily represents skilled
Operators of heavy construction equipment and mechanics who service the
machines. The union has more than 10,000 active and retired members and is
headquartered in Pewaukee. Local 139 also maintains district offices in
Madison, Appleton and Altoona, as well as a state-certified training school for
Operating Engineers in Coloma. For more information, please go to www.iuoe139.org.
About Minnesota Center for
Environmental Advocacy: The Minnesota Center for
Environmental Advocacy is a nonprofit organization using law, science, and
research to protect Minnesota's natural resources, wildlife and the health of
its people. For more information, please go to www.mncenter.org.