WI utility customers could pay for proposed UP power line

PEWAUKEE (AP) -- Wisconsin utility customers could end up paying for the majority of a proposed power line to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

American Transmission Co., of Pewaukee, wants to build a 175-mile line from the Green Bay area to Marquette County, Mich., as well as three smaller lines in Wisconsin and Michigan. ATC spokeswoman Jackie Olson says the major power line would also benefit northern Wisconsin, where a lightning strike in Oconto County last year cut a key power line that feeds the U.P.

Citizens Utility Board director Charlie Higley says Wisconsin customers should not have to shoulder the costs of a line that primarily benefits Michigan. He says mining companies should pay for the line.

The line could cost up to $705 million and needs approval from the Midwest power grid operator.