With multiple new wind and other generation projects waiting to interconnect, Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power Co. have announced the completion of the 70-mile CapX2020 Big Stone South-Brookings County 345-kV transmission line in South Dakota. Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power Company are joint owners of the $140 million project. The line runs between the new Big Stone South Substation near Big Stone City and the existing Brookings County Substation about 10 miles northeast of Brookings.
“These significant investments are essential to positioning South Dakota for future renewable energy production. We’re excited about the new paths for solar and wind energy that will be opened up as a result of this important initiative,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “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,” said Teresa Mogensen, Senior Vice President for Xcel Energy. “The common denominator for all of these projects is the CapX2020 electric transmission infrastructure investment. “
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 800 mile, $2 billion investment includes four 345‐kilovolt transmission lines and a 230-kilovolt line.
“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,” said Tim Rogelstad, President of Otter Tail Power Company. “The completion of this transmission line is a boon to electric reliability in South Dakota. I commend the partners in this project, Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power Company, for their commitment and steady progress to improve infrastructure for our state,” stated South Dakota Public Utilities Chairperson Kristie Fiegen.
The project is one of 16 multi-value projects approved by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. The Multi-value projects will help expand and enhance the region’s transmission system, reduce congestion, provide access to affordable energy sources, as well as meet public policy requirements.
“Major transmission lines, like the CapX2020 project, are helping to unlock the potential for a major build out of wind energy in the Midwest, while also offering important reliability benefits for customers” said Beth Soholt, executive director of Wind on the Wires. For more information visit Capx2020.com or follow us on Twitter.