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Levels of Power on Display
THURS., JAN. 3, 10 AM
4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison

Commission Judge to Determine  More Than 50 Intervenor Requests in Cardinal Hickory Creek Transmission Line Case.

    In 2014, two Wisconsin households stepped forward to use their law-granted rights1 to formally represent their own, substantial interests in the review of the Badger-Coulee expansion transmission line. For the Bay Lake transmission expansion proposal in 2013, two households also stepped forward.

    A lot has changed in four years.

    In response to the eighth transmission expansion line proposed in Wisconsin, Cardinal Hickory Creek, the number has increased to more than 50 households and 8 municipal governments requesting roles as public intervenors to defend their substantial interests.

    On December 10, the Administrative Law Judge who will preside over key aspects of the PSC’s review of the highly controversial 100-120 mile transmission line took a surprising step. The Judge stated that he might deny the personal representation rights for as many of 43 intervenors and 6 municipalities on the basis of apparent, “coordination of filing.2” Noticing that the bulk of the filings were made as the deadline approached, he has asked the 49 parties to consider being represented by one, non-profit organization, namely, SOUL of Wisconsin.

     “We are perplexed by the Judge’s idea that a not-for-profit organization could represent the detailed interests of numerous, unique, households-- not to mention those of six municipal governments with elected leadership,” observed Keith Ashley Wright, President of SOUL.

    Both in principle and in practice, SOUL is unable to represent the land-based concerns raised by the private and municipal intervenors. The state’s requirement of multiple transmission route options makes it impossible for any organization to represent one landowner’s interests without creating conflicts with other landowners. Only nine of the requesting intervenors are SOUL members. The SOUL board restricted its intervention efforts to demonstrating the cost and environmental effectiveness of Non-Transmission Alternatives. The organization is not seeking funding from the state to pay for the required experts.

    SOUL’s historical stance concerning land based impacts is that that no acre should be sacrificed for unneeded and backwards transmission expansion lines. Board members have always been free to intervene on their own as they deem necessary, and they have.

    For more than 17 years, SOUL has been deeply involved with helping interested citizens, households, local governments and counties with responses to seven, prior expansion transmission lines. Wide citizen interest in Cardinal Hickory Creek intervention was sparked at a March 2018 conference at which leaders from successful, national transmission opposition efforts shared their suggestions.

    In the months following, private individuals chose to host public information meetings to address increasing questioning about intervention. Turnout and show of personal commitment was strong. SOUL of Wisconsin was one of the intervenors invited to help answer questions at some of the gatherings.

    Now individuals and municipalities are hoping the judge will allow each intervening party to further explain her or his unique substantial interests concerning property values, impacts on tourism, natural habitats, electric bill increases, the ability to influence energy direction in Wisconsin and more.  The opportunity to explain these interests rests entirely with the judge along with the citizens' rights to represent their own interests.

    In total, 96 parties have requested to intervene.  Should you wish to witness the powers around this crucial case, there should be an impressive  display for viewing on Jan 3--- including 50 fellow citizens seeking their rights to represent their own substantial interests.
    Cardinal Hickory Creek Pre-Hearing Conference.
    Thurs., January 3, 10 a.m.
    Public Service Commission Hearing Room, First floor
    Room S105
    Hill Farms State Office Building,
    4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison


Come Home to Grant County Wisconsin!
Today, Wisconsin begins here,
in a very rural and scenic area.

I know; I have lived here 65 years.

With strong farming communities, tourist industry and
plenty of choices for recreation,

It is economically unfeasible to become a utility district

The Driftless area includes Grant County:
a national gem.

I love the area and I am thankful to God for being able to live here. I have always said, "The state is the body and we are the beauty."

I have met many tourists and they all remark at the beauty.

We are at a fork in the road.
I pray wisdom is used to bring justice to this area of Wisconsin.

Thank you, Judge Newmark, for allowing us to intervene

- Patrick L Patterson and
Marlene J Patterson,

2 Intervention Requestor Letter, Administration Law Judge Order,

US Government DRAFT Study:

Cardinal Hickory Creek Linked to Potential Utility Land Rush

    In a section entitled, "ENABLE GENERATION IN SOUTHWESTERN AND SOUTH-CENTRAL WISCONSIN,” a draft study authored by the Rural Utility Service of the US Department of Agriculture has observed that,

     ”Renewable generators are requesting to interconnect with or near the Cardinal - Hickory Creek Project in Wisconsin. A 200 MW wind farm Red Barn is presently under study at MISO for a potential connection to the new Hill Valley Substation that is part of the C-HC Project. Additionally, three other renewable projects, Red Barn and Badger Hollow have requested interconnection to ATC’s existing Eden Substation near the new Hill Valley Substation. If these projects become operational, it is highly likely that they would be connected at Hill Valley….there are almost 1,800 MW of generation interconnection requests in southwestern and south-central Wisconsin. Many of these requests, though not directly connecting to the C-HC Project, would likely benefit from C-HC in the form of lower costs to interconnect."

               STATEMENT Dec., 2018 .

61% Fossil Fuel Generation

    A close look a Table 1.4-2 in the study reveals interests in the development 15 new fossil fuel and renewable generation power plants. When the intermittency of the renewable plants is factored in, 61% of the new generation in the USDA’s list would be powered by fossil fuel with only 39% from renewable sources.

    The Red Barn wind power plant proposal describes 25 turbines surrounding Montfort, WI with heights up to 660 feet.  As the tallest structures in Wisconsin, these turbine profiles would be visible  up to 29 miles away. 

     A search of the the largest solar power plants in North America shows that all solar power plants 300MW in size or larger are located in the desert not on prime agricultural ground. 




Conference Videos
Harnessing Our Local
Energy Futures


March 2, Dodgeville, Forum 


Complete, Live Stream Recording with Discussion

Session I
Meeting Our Priorities with Household and Local Solutions

Session II
Shortfalls in Transmission Review Process and Busting Utility Myths

Session III
Confronting the Harmful Land and Economic Impacts of Transmission Expansion

Evening Speakers

Pat Raimer
Trustee, Village of Montfort, WI 

Keryn Newman
StopPATH WV, Shepherdstown, WV
Participation, Politics, and Public Opinion

Dave Clutter
Driftless Area Land Conservancy, Dodgeville, WI
Protecting the Natural Habitats and Local Economies of the Driftless Area from Unnecessary Transmission Expansion

Bill Powers
Powers Engineering, San Diego, CA
Local-Based Energy Futures and the Obstacle of Transmission Expansion



The grid to nowhere

An argument against building giant transmission lines


MARCH 1, 2018






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 Full CHC Scoping Packet

You can make additional comments any time before January 4, 2019,  but input received before December 15 is easier for PSC Staff to accommodate. You can examine your submitted comments on the official, CHC PSC Docket.

 Commenting by email is also supported,
The snail-mail address is:
WI Public Service Commission
05-CE-146 Scoping Input
 4822 Madison Yards Way
P.O. Box 7854
Madison, WI 53707-7854

Many will find it easier to edit their comments in a text or email program and then copy and paste them, in entirety, into the PSC's on line ePortal comment tool. Here are step by step INSTRUCTIONS.  





SOUL of Wisconsin has contracted engineer, Bill Powers, a nationally recognized Non-Transmission Alternatives specialist of San Diego CA, to prepare a revolutionary NTA plan tailored for Southwest Wisconsin to out-perform and defeat the high voltage option of the Cardinal Hickory Creek proposal  Blending proven and innovative approaches, Powers' NTA will provide PSC Commissioners exciting, cost effective ways for the state of Wisconsin to launch a new era in energy planning, 

Powers has authored long range energy planning for major metropolitan and geographic areas in the US including San Francisco, North Carolina and San Diego.

 To  reward Powers for many hours of work and the stressful challenges of serving as an expert witness in the interests of all of Wisconsinites, SOUL welcomes donations of all amounts.  Tax exempt donations can be made to the


using a credit card or PayPal  or via mail to SOUL of Wisconsin, PO Box 146, La Farge, WI 54639  Phone 608.625.4949 for more information.




See map on pdf p. 41 of the PSC's newly released Strategic Energy Assessment and more information here (pdf p.28) Now is the time to protect your community with adoption of resolutions and informing your elected local and state officials. Contact the Energy Planning and Information Committee of the Town of Stark for more information and assistance.



January 3, 2019 Meeting
Is Being Rescheduled

Arena Town Hall
Highway 14, Arena, WI


Join representatives from the Towns of Arena, Clyde. Wyoming (Iowa Co,);  Lima,  (Grant Co.); Belmont (Lafayette Co.); Stark [Vernon Co.]; Vermont and Cross Plains (Dane Co.)  and the Village of Montfort (Grant Co.)

Topics Include:

Membership in the Inter-Municipal Energy Planning Committee [IMEPC] is open to all county and municipal governments . Visitors are also welcome. Contact  Karen Carlock for more information.. 


PSC Release Strategic Energy Assessment 2018-2024
Many people desiring the agency to more faithfully represent ratepayer priorities in Wisconsin energy policy and decision-making contributed comments about the PSC's DRAFT Final Strategic Energy Assessment  this summer and it shows!  The Final SEA for 2018-2024. It is now available for download here.  It contains considerably more, in depth analysis of how investment in new power plants and transmission lines has caused our rates and fixed fees to soar to recover the cost on long term, high interest debt.

Pick out a favorite section and make an appointment with a state legislator to go over the significances and to discuss how laws can be improved to avoid the continuation of the excessive spending that is undercutting the competitiveness of Wisconsin businesses and sending dollars to Wall Street that should be going to our communities.

Are You Fully Exploiting the Powers of your Household?

Discover clever, low-cost ways to become a 21st Century Load Defector to save money, slash emissions and live with cleaner conscience. 

 If your household electric bill is greater than 700 kilowatt hours, per month, it's likely you can make significant improvements. Learn more about the energy and emission savings tips and email SOUL for your personalized, online tracking sheet to record your monthly progress. See CONTEST  tor households tracking use frm  May 2017 to May 2018. .

LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP to support ratepayer energy investment priorities is only $5!  Membership numbers are especially important when SOUL intervenes in utility cases and seeks funding for engineers and other experts.  Consider two or more memberships for your family. Donations above the $5 fee are tax deductible. Join online here or mail a check to SOUL of Wisconsin, PO Box 146, La Farge, WI 54639 

20th Century Utility Assumptions Failing Ratepayers in 21st Century

Article by  David Roberts explaining causes for skyrocketing cost increases and unwitting liabilities utilities are bringing upon electric customers as they refuse to embrace cost-effective solutions. Companion article  by Roberts' provides an overview of New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program in which the NY PSC ordered utilities to apply $200,000 towards energy efficiency, local power and load management instead of spending $1 billion upgrading an older substation. See also Sept 2016 progress report on the initiative.

Copyright © 2018 Wisconsin Energy Awareness Initiative, All rights reserved.

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