The fourth CapX2020 project was fully energized on Sept. 16, bringing another 156 miles of transmission line onto the grid. The 345/161-kV Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse project will improve electric reliability and open up new avenues for renewable energy in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A commemoration was held at the Hampton Substation in Hampton, Minnesota, in September to celebrate. Project partners, renewable energy advocates and community leaders attended.
CapX2020 has now invested $1.85 billion in completing four high voltage transmission line projects totaling 725 miles across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
“When we proposed the CapX2020 projects more than a decade ago, we said ‘if you build it they will come,’” said Teresa Mogensen, senior vice president of transmission, Xcel Energy. “Not everyone believed us. But sure enough, the renewable energy developers are knocking on the door. There are currently more than 1,200 megawatts of wind energy requesting interconnection to CapX2020 lines.”
“Delivering renewable energy, maintaining reliability and keeping electric costs low are key benefits of the regional grid,” said Priti Patel, executive director of Mid Continent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) North Region. “We congratulate the CapX2020 partners on completion of this critical link.”
The Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse transmission line runs between the Hampton Substation near Hampton, Minn., the North Rochester Substation north of Pine Island, Minn., and the Briggs Road Substation north of La Crosse, Wis. View project video.
“We’re pleased the line is complete and grateful to our project partners,” said Dave Geschwind, SMMPA Executive Director & CEO. “Since the Minnesota portion of the project is double- circuit capable, this investment in reliability and greater access to renewable energy will benefit our members far into the future.”
“We are very proud to be part of the CapX2020 project and what it means to the region, and to Rochester,” said Mark Kotschevar, Rochester Public Utilities General Manager. “It serves as a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when multiple utilities come together with a common goal.”
The project is jointly owned by Xcel Energy, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Rochester Public Utilities and WPPI Energy.