American Transmission Co. opposes Assembly Bill 774, which would impair the efficient coordination that currently exists between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for reviewing and permitting utility projects.
Over the last decade, ATC has successfully permitted nearly $3 billion in transmission reliability improvements under the current process, which provides for a streamlined and thorough examination of environmental impacts and protections. This legislation would undo the successful coordination that occurs among the DNR, the PSC, applicants and the public brought about through 2003 Act 89. In addition, it would negate the improvements to laws governing development and siting of transmission lines that were enacted in 2013 through Act 10.
The bill is being justified on the grounds that it will eliminate bureaucracy and reduce costs. In fact, the bill could increase the costs by eliminating the coordination among agencies, creating opportunities for duplicate or unnecessary work, and introducing the potential for more disputes.
American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of the Upper Midwest. Formed in 2001 as the nation's first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $2.8 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of its infrastructure. ATC now is a $3.3 billion company with 9,480 miles of transmission lines and 529 substations. The company is a member of the MISO regional transmission organization, and provides nondiscriminatory service to all customers, supporting effective competition in energy markets without favoring any market participant.