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July 19, 2019

6/20/2019 11:28:00 AM
Dispelling CHC Myths

Dear Editor:
As more investigation and research are done exposing the facts about the CHC high tower electrical transmission line backed by the electric companies ATC, ITC, and DairyLand, it is becoming more obvious that these companies are even more deceptive in their practices, more irrational in their claims, and more flawed in their analyses than originally thought. Let me clear up some of the CHC myths with some facts.
Fact. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) has determined that the real cost of the CHC project is going to be $628 million, not the $492 million claimed by the CHC electric companies, a $136 million cost overrun! Oops, there go the pennies per month you were supposed to save on your electric bills. ATC/ITC are also not including the costs of shutting down existing functional plants or the cost of building new gas-turbine facilities. This miscalculation will further dramatically increase your electric bills.
Fact. The PSC cannot confirm the $22 million to $350 million the CHC project claims it will save long term. The range of purported savings is so wide here that it shows that ATC/ITC accountants have a very poor idea of the factors in this project. There could just as easily be a deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars!
Fact. The PSC has determined that the seven existing transmission lines that CHC would replace could be updated with new higher capacity wires at a fraction of the cost of a new CHC line. Keep in mind that electrical consumption is flat or declining in Wisconsin. In addition, replacing seven existing lines, which can be maintained by our fantastic local powerline crews, with one CHC line would make us more susceptible to a terrorist attack. If a CHC line, along with a few other big lines, was disabled in our country, large numbers of people would be out of power for long periods of time. Special crews and equipment must be brought in. We would be sitting ducks with huge economic loses. This fact has not been seriously considered by ATC/ITC companies.
Fact. The CHC line will carry mostly fossil-fuel-generated electricity. There will be very little wind contribution. Individual solar for homes, farms, schools, and businesses (not commercial solar fields) is now rapidly increasing. This solar is locally produced and consumed and can be stored. It will further decrease the load carried by our existing electrical grid. No need for the CHC line! Hopefully, the PSC will choose the solar NTA (non-transmissible alternative) as the alternative to the CHC line.
It is time to ditch this 20th century relic, the outdated CHC project, and move into the 21st century and take advantage of the new technology in individual solar.

George Schwarzmann Jr.
Belmont Township Wisconsin






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