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State regulators say the application for the proposed Badger Coulee high-voltage transmission line is complete and will undergo a thorough review.

American Transmission Co. (ATC) and Xcel Energy want to build the 345-kilovolt line from the La Crosse area to the Madison area.

Depending on the route, the line would run 160 to 180 miles and would cost $540 million to $580 million, the two utilities said. That’s up from estimates last October, when the application was filed, of $514 million to $552 million.

The Coalition Organized for Reliable Energy (CORE), which includes a number of business and trade associations, said the project will bring jobs and a stronger electric grid.

“Energy-intensive operations, like the manufacturing industry, recognize the importance of a robust transmission system,” said Eric Bott of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

A citizens group opposing the powerful line, Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL) of Wisconsin, said the proposal is still not complete because it doesn’t address the drop in energy use or alternative solutions.

“We know from looking at other states that these options truly save homes, farms and businesses lots of money,” SOUL secretary Rob Danielson said.

The state Public Service Commission will hold public and technical hearings and could take up to a year to make a decision on the Badger Coulee project. The application and documents filed can be found on the PSC’s website at, docket 5-CE-142.

If approved, construction would start in 2016 so the line can be in use in 2018, ATC and Xcel said.