CAPX2020 commemorates major electrical milestone

90 miles of high voltage transmission line energized in Wisconsin and Minnesota

Area energy enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the energizing of 90 miles of a new 345-kilovolt transmission line in Wisconsin and Minnesota Tuesday.

Part of the transmission line segments were also energized Sept. 15 between Holmen and Pine Island, Minnesota,

The entire CapX2020 Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse project, which also includes two 161-kilovolt lines that feed Rochester and a 40-mile, 345-kilovolt segment between Hampton and Pine Island, is expected to be complete in 2016.

“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 Chris Kunkle, a regional policy manager at Wind on the Wires. “By providing increased access to cost-effective wind power, CapX2020 will play a vital role in our region’s transition to a cleaner energy future.”

The CapX2020 Project is jointly owned by Xcel Energy, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Rochester Public Utilities and WPPI Energy.

When complete, the $500 million project will have constructed 150 miles of new transmission lines, three new substations and made modification at three existing substations.

Several local contractors were utilized for the project including La Crosse based J.F. Brennan.

The project is part of the largest transmission expansion in the Upper Midwest in decades.