Three new transmission lines that are estimated to cost around $2.2 billion will cross through Wisconsin under a large expansion approved by the Midwest grid operator that’s designed to facilitate the clean energy transition.
The board for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator signed off on a $10.3 billion portfolio of 18 transmission projects for the Upper Midwest on July 25. The lines are expected to support 53 gigawatts of renewable energy and provide between $23 to $52 billion in benefits as utilities retire aging coal plants. Projects in Wisconsin are slated to start coming online as early as 2028.
“Overall, the projects approved by the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) will lead to continued electric reliability in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest, increased access to renewable energy, and the ability to keep bills affordable for our customers,” said Chris Ouellette, a spokesperson for Xcel Energy. “The projects will help all Midwestern utilities ensure reliability when integrating the variable nature of renewable energy and increased resilience in the face of severe weather events.”