The lights are on, for now

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published November 1, 2001  | November 2001 issue

In August, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved the construction of a controversial, 215-mile transmission line running diagonally from Superior to Weston, which is located in the central part of the state. Once completed, the so-called Arrowhead line will be the first extra-high voltage transmission line constructed in the state in the last 20 years.

In approving the plan, the commission reiterated the state's shortage of transmission capacity, pointing out that Wisconsin had only four high-capacity power links compared with 18 for Minnesota and 25 for Illinois. Environmental and other groups opposed to the line called it a sop to power companies looking to export power to take advantage of current high prices brought about by deregulation in a number of states.

A landowner and environmental group, Save Our Unique Lands, has asked a state appeals court to block the project, objecting to the aesthetic and environmental impact of the line, which would be mounted on 100-foot towers.

Ronald A. Wirtz