10 route changes approved for CapX2020 line

St. Cloud Times, Minn.

The CapX 2020 transmission line will be rerouted in 10 places between Sauk Centre and St. Cloud, a state board decided today.

The Public Utilities Commission approved 10 of 12 requests for route amendments after a lengthy public hearing during which landowners testified how the high-voltage transmission line will affect their property and their lives.

In June, the commission approved the main route for the segment of the power line from Fargo to St. Cloud. It follows Interstate Highway 94 from Fargo to Sauk Centre, then veers south near Freeport before connecting to a new substation in St. Cloud.

The utilities building the power line, including Xcel Energy and Great River Energy, proposed 11 of the changes in cases where property owners wanted it farther from their homes or to avoid bisecting a farm or irrigation system.

Darrin Lahr, CapX routing lead, said the alternative routes were developed during discussions with affected landowners. Only cases where there weren’t significant differences to the environment and 100 percent of landowners agreed were brought forward, Lahr said.

The PUC approved 10 of the changes, but delayed action on a controversial one south of Freeport for 30 days to give the utilities and the landowners more time to work out an agreement.

The commission also turned down a separate petition filed by landowners Robert and Pauline Undersander to shift the line from the approved route just west of the Sauk River. Not all landowners supported the change.
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