Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) and Otter Tail Power on Aug. 30 announced the completion of the 70-mile, $140m CapX2020 Big Stone South-Brookings County 345-kV transmission line in South Dakota, according to a statement posted on the CapX2020 website.
The companies are joint owners of the project, which runs between the Big Stone South substation near Big Stone City and the existing Brookings County substation about 10 miles northeast of Brookings, the statement noted.
The project is one of 16 Multi-Value Projects approved by the Midcontinent ISO (MISO), according to the statement, which also noted that the MVPs are designed to help expand and enhance the region’s transmission system, reduce congestion, provide access to affordable energy sources, as well as meet public policy requirements.
CapX2020 is a joint initiative of 11 transmission-owning utilities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin formed to upgrade and expand the electric transmission grid to ensure continued reliable and affordable service, the statement noted. The 800-mile, $2bn investment includes four 345-kV transmission lines and a 230-kV line, according to the statement.
According to the CapX2020 website, the other CapX2020 projects are the:
- Monticello-St. Cloud 345-kV project, which was energized in December 2011, and will improve regional reliability in north central Minnesota, as well as the growing St. Cloud area
- Bemidji-Grand Rapids 230-kV project, which was fully energized in September 2012. The single 230-kV transmission line connects the Wilton substation near Bemidji, Minn., and the Boswell substation in Grand Rapids, Minn. The line improves reliability for the Red River Valley, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, and north central Minnesota
- Brookings County-Hampton 345-kV project, which was energized in March 2015. Between the Lyon County substation and Helena substation, the project was built as a double-circuit line; remaining segments were built as double circuit capable, though only a single circuit was energized after construction. The project will help meet projected electric growth in southern and western Minnesota, and the growing areas south of the Twin Cities metro area, particularly Scott and Dakota counties. The project also connects to new renewable generation resources in southern and western Minnesota, as well as the Dakotas
- Fargo-St. Cloud 345-kV project, which was energized in April 2015. The double circuit capable 345-kV line stretches between a new Bison substation west of Fargo, N.D., the existing Alexandria switching station in Alexandria, Minn., and the new Quarry substation west of St. Cloud. The line will improve community reliability in the southern Red River Valley and the Fargo, Alexandria and St. Cloud areas, as well as support additional generation development, including renewable generation, in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota
- Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse 345-kV project, the final section of which was energized in September 2016. The line will improve reliability for the Twin Cities, Rochester and La Crosse areas, including rural electric cooperative customers in Goodhue, Olmsted, and Wabasha counties of Minnesota and Buffalo, Trempealeau and La Crosse counties in Wisconsin
“Today, there are no less than eight wind projects and a natural gas generation facility requesting to interconnect to this line and the new substation,” Teresa Mogensen, senior vice president for Xcel Energy, said in the statement of the Big Stone South-Brookings County line. “The common denominator for all of these projects is the CapX2020 electric transmission infrastructure investment.”
Tim Rogelstad, president of Otter Tail Power Company, said in the statement: “CapX2020 is a great example of collaboration. Investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives, and municipally-owned electric utilities all worked together in an unprecedented way through transmission expansion to ensure we can continue to provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy to our customers. In this respect, we’re a model for the rest of the country in transmission development. We’ve accomplished much more together than we ever could do alone.”