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Minnesota PUC approves 345 kV Huntley–Wilmarth Project [free access]

July 1, 2019

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved the 345 kV Huntley–Wilmarth Transmission Project.

 

The project is being developed by Xcel Energy and ITC Midwest LLC, and is proposed to reduce congestion on the transmission grid in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, which is inhibiting low-cost electricity from generation facilities, including wind farms in the area, from reaching customers. It entails the construction of a 40-50-mile (64-81-km), 345 kV transmission line connecting Xcel Energy’s Wilmarth substation located north of Mankato, with ITC’s Huntley substation located south of Winnebago.

 

The transmission project received approval form the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (ISO) in December 2016 as a market efficiency project. The developers then applied for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) with the Minnesota PUC in January 2018.

 

The construction of the project is anticipated to begin in 2020, with an expected in-service date by the end of 2021.