A new transmission line approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will provide customers in Minnesota access to more low-cost renewable energy and increased electric reliability.
Xcel Energy and ITC Midwest will build the nearly 50-mile 345 kV transmission line that will connect Xcel Energy’s Wilmarth Substation, north of Mankato, Minnesota, and ITC Midwest’s Huntley Substation, south of Winnebago, Minnesota. The project is expected to be online in 2021, with construction scheduled to start in 2020.
“Xcel Energy is pleased with the decision by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and we are excited to move forward on this project,” says Michael Lamb, senior vice president, transmission, Xcel Energy. “The Huntley-Wilmarth project will provide several local and regional benefits including relieving congestion on the transmission grid, delivering clean, affordable energy to customers, and increasing property tax revenues to local governments.”
Investments in the transmission systems strengthen reliability and help Xcel Energy to continue its clean energy transition, says Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota.
“This new transmission line will support our vision to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030 and deliver 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050," Clark says. "We thank our communities for their input and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for their approval of this important project.”
Krista Tanner, senior vice president and chief business unit officer for ITC Holdings Corp. and president of ITC Midwest, says the company is grateful for the public input throughout the regulatory process and the project approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
“Among many benefits for electric customers, the Huntley-Wilmarth transmission line will increase grid capacity, enhance system reliability and provide greater access to renewable energy," Tanner says.
During the two-year transmission line development process, Xcel Energy and ITC Midwest conducted lengthy community outreach and an engagement campaign to provide opportunities for residents and businesses to learn more about the project, view potential route maps, ask questions and provide feedback on potential routes. This included open houses hosted by the utilities and meetings facilitated by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the Minnesota Department of Commerce that allowed for public input at 16 sessions. Many people took advantage of the opportunities to engage in the process.
More information about the Huntley-Wilmarth transmission line is available on the project Web site.