Friday, October 01, 2010

Pay $450 Million, Get Current---Maybe?

The good news/bad news game. Except there's really no good news.

A $3 billion network of new high-voltage power lines across the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin would help improve the flow of wind power across the upper Midwest and beyond, a new report says.

That "flow" only happens when the wind is blowing, of course, unlike coal, natgas, and nukes, which provide power 24x7. And did we mention that "wind farms" suck Fed taxpayer subsidies at an unnaturally high rate?

So what will Wisconsin residents pay?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has yet to rule on how the projects would be paid for, but a good rule of thumb is that Wisconsin's share of the tab would be about 15%, or $450 million for the six projects.

Well, yes--if you don't count Federal subsidies of wind farms.

There are two Wisconsin lines proposed.

The two Wisconsin projects are 345,000-volt lines that link Madison and northeast Iowa and another linking Madison and La Crosse. The two projects are projected to cost $811 million.

And ATC expects to get its money back, of course.

The curious part is that this expenditure (and rate-hike) is being flogged by the Wisconsin Grocers' Association. Maybe the grocers don't understand taxes.

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