- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - State regulators have approved plan to build a $500 million-plus power line from western Wisconsin to Middleton.

The Public Service Commission gave the green light Thursday to Northern States Power Company and American Transmission Company to construct the 345-kilovolt line.

The line will run from Holmen to Black River Falls and largely follow existing power line corridors along Interstate 90/94 to Middleton. PSC spokesman Nathan Conrad says the line will import electricity from across the country, increasing reliability and ensuring quicker power transfers.

The line is expected to cost from $540 million to $580 million. Conrad says ratepayers in 15 states across the nation’s mid-section will have to cover those costs, with Wisconsin ratepayers picking up about 15 percent of the tab.

Construction could begin next year.

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