State regulators approve western power line

Wisconsin regulators have approved plans for a power line that will run between Alma and Holmen in western Wisconsin.

The three-person Public Service Commission agreed unanimously Thursday to green-light the $201 million project, saying it will increase regional and local transmission reliability.

The commission also settled on a route calling for the line to cross the Mississippi River west of Alma, run through Galesville and end at a new substation just west of Holmen.

The line will link to a larger transmission project dubbed CapX2020 to serve Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.

The utilities said they need the line to serve rising regional and local demand. Opponents counter the project is too excessive for the La Crosse area and would cut through one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the state.