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Xcel Energy Proposes To Upgrade Transmission Line In Minnesota And Eastern South Dakota To Reduce Grid Congestion

Aug. 24, 2023
The utility plans to invest $1 billion in additional transmission work approved by MISO.

Xcel Energy has filed a Certificate of Need application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to upgrade about 100 miles of transmission line in Minnesota and eastern South Dakota in order to deliver low-cost renewable energy to electric customers throughout the Upper Midwest.

The company plans to install a second circuit on two segments of the existing Brookings County-Hampton transmission line. The new second circuit to be placed on existing transmission structures will run approximately 60 miles from the Brookings County substation near White, South Dakota to the Lyon County substation near Marshall, Minnesota, while a second 39 mile segment will function between the Helena substation in Scott County, Minnesota and the Hampton substation in Dakota County, Minnesota.

After the review and approval process by the Public Utilities Commission, the company anticipates to begin installing the new circuit in 2024 and complete the project in 2025.

“This project allows us to use existing infrastructure to decrease congestion on our transmission system while limiting the impact to landowners in the area,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “It will bring low-cost, renewable wind energy to millions of homes and businesses, allowing us to further reduce carbon emissions with a focus on meeting customers’ energy needs reliably and affordably.”

The transmission project, which supports Xcel Energy’s goal to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity in Minnesota by 2040, will provide additional capacity to relieve congestion on the grid. This will ensure more low-cost wind power from southwest Minnesota and eastern South Dakota to reach customers throughout the region.

The project is expected to be invested by Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Great River Energy, Missouri River Energy Services and Otter Tail Power Company.

Xcel Energy plans investment worth $1 billion in additional transmission work approved by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).

While the company and other Minnesota utilities are planning for future energy needs in the Upper Midwest with the Brookings Second Circuit project, its proposed Minnesota Energy Connection is a separate project to connect wind resources in southwest Minnesota with the current infrastructure at the Sherco plant in Becker.

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