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CapX2020 Transmission Project, Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota/Wisconsin

STATUS:  In progress with opposition

TYPE: Transmission

OPPOSITION:  City of Fergus Falls; Environmental Groups; Local residents

PROSPECTS:  Likely

BACKGROUND:  CapX2020 is a $1.7 billion high-voltage transmission line project that while mostly in Minnesota, connects lines in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  The project is a joint initiative of 11 transmission-owning companies (Central MN Municipal Power Agency, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Great River Energy, Minnesota Power, Minnkota Power Cooperative, Missouri River Energy Services, Otter Tail Power Cooperative, Rochester Public Utilities, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, WPPI Energy, and Xcel Energy), and consists of four projects:  Fargo-St. Cloud-Monticello (250 miles, 345kV); Brookings County-Hampton (240 miles, 345 kV); Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse (150 miles, 345 kV); and Bemidji-Grand Rapids (68 miles, 230 kV).  The project is designed to meet growing energy demand in the area as well as help satisfy state renewable energy policies.

CapX2020 appears to be on schedule, although it has engendered opposition.  The utilities involved have held several hundred stakeholder meetings since 2007, in an effort to engage the public (and presumably prevent litigation).  However, even this outreach may not be enough.  Groups such as NoCapX2020 and Citizens Energy Task Force are legally registered “intervening parties” in the permit process for the project. 

Line construction is expected to begin in 2012.

SOURCES:  CapX2020: http://www.capx2020.com/faq.html;
http://www.capx2020.com/Images/MN_LEC_meeting_9.08.2009_ek.pdf;
No CapX2020: http://nocapx2020.info/;
Citizens Energy Task Force: http://cetf.us/category/capx2020/;
http://cetf.us/2010/06/09/minnesota-court-of-appeals-judges-rule-in-favor-of-capx2020-power-line-utilities/;
Minneapolis Star-Tribune http://www.startribune.com/business/94977439.html;
http://www.startribune.com/local/90530174.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU    

Last Updated:  December 6, 2010