A US appeals court has overturned a previous injunction that halted the development of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line, Reuters has reported.

The decision is a significant step forward for the project, which is being developed by ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Co-operative to facilitate clean energy distribution between the states of Iowa and Wisconsin.

The Chicago-based 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals found the preliminary injunction, issued by a Wisconsin federal judge in March 2024, to be unjustified.

This injunction had blocked the work on a crucial segment of the high-voltage line, on which the developers have already incurred costs of $655m.

The appeals court stated that the lower court must reassess whether the environmental groups contesting the land exchange are likely to win their case.

These groups, including the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Driftless Area Land Conservancy and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, have raised concerns about the project’s impact on wildlife habitats and floodplains.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Following the appeals court’s decision, the environmental groups sought a temporary restraining order and requested a stay on the order, allowing the lower court to re-examine the matter.

Reuters quoted a spokesperson for the developers as saying that they are pleased with the court’s decision, which they had asked for “to avoid imposing further unnecessary delays and additional expenses on this critically important project.”

The US Interior Department and the US Army Corps of Engineers, which sanctioned the land exchange, are yet to comment.

The transmission line, operating at 345kV, runs 102 miles (164km), connecting Dubuque County in Iowa to Dane County in Wisconsin.

The developers have noted that the transmission line has the potential to connect 160 renewable energy projects into the Midwestern energy grid upon completion.