Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

CapX2020 Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse transmission line construction underway




Tim Carlsgaard

Office: (612) 330-7967

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Contact: Xcel Energy Media Relations

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CapX2020 Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse transmission line construction underway

Fourth CapX2020 project in construction phase; improves Rochester reliability


MINNEAPOLIS – February 22, 2013 – The CapX2020 utilities have started construction on the estimated $500 million, 150-mile Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse 345 kilovolt (kV) project. The first segment under construction is the 16-mile 161 kV line between a new North Rochester Substation, near Pine Island, and the existing Northern Hills Substation in northwest Rochester.  The CapX2020 transmission lines will provide reliable and affordable electric service to Minnesota and the surrounding region, while also expanding access to renewable energy.


“It has been six years since we started the public outreach, regulatory and routing process and we will continue to work closely with landowners and local officials as construction moves forward,” said Priti Patel, CapX2020 co-executive director. “The line will provide immediate benefits by enhancing electricity service reliability and allow for future growth and economic development in the area.”


The Minnesota portion of the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse project is 345 kV double circuit capable which allows for future capacity expansion on the existing structures. To reduce land impacts, single-pole steel structures predominantly will be used. The poles are spaced about five per mile.


“RPU’s and SMMPA’s participation in the CapX2020 project will ensure greater reliability and system redundancy necessary as Rochester and southeast Minnesota continue to grow,” said Tony Benson, RPU’s spokesperson and Dan Hayes, SMMPA’s communications manager. “In addition, the added transmission infrastructure will provide a robust system for us to import and export energy as needed today and well into the future,” said Tony Benson, RPU communications coordinator and Dan Hayes, SMMPA manager of renewable energy programs and agency communications.


Work on the North Rochester-Northern Hills 161 kV segment will be completed this summer. Foundation work on the 45 mile 345 kV segment between the North Rochester Substation and the Mississippi River is scheduled to start in August. Construction in Wisconsin will start in 2014 with an in-service date of 2015 for the entire project.


Partners in the Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse project include Dairyland Power Cooperative, Rochester Public Utilities, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, WPPI Energy and Xcel Energy.


CapX2020 update

The Bemidji-Grand Rapids 230 kV project was energized in fall 2012 and the 28-mile Monticello-St. Cloud 345 kV transmission line was completed in December 2011. Construction continues between St. Cloud and Fargo as well as on the Brookings County-Hampton 345 kV project. The CapX2020 utilities expect to file a regulatory application in South Dakota for the Big Stone South-Brookings County 345 kV project in mid-2013.


About CapX2020

CapX2020 is a joint initiative of 11 investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities in North Dakota and the surrounding region to upgrade and expand the electric transmission grid to ensure continued reliable and affordable service. The CapX2020 projects include four 345 kV transmission lines and a 230 kV line and represent the largest development of new transmission in the Upper Midwest in 30 years. They are projected to cost more than $2 billion and cover a distance of nearly 800 miles.