Skip to main content

Region's biggest power line expansion in 4 decades celebrates completion

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Nearly a dozen utility companies are energized by the completion of a power line project that's providing the biggest boost to the power grid in Minnesota since the 1970s.

Organizers of the decade-long effort known as CapX2020 held ribbon-cutting ceremonies near St. Cloud and Fargo Monday to celebrate completion of the project's two biggest sections.

The utility companies say the new power lines mean electrical service will be more reliable. They'll also carry more wind power from southwestern Minnesota and the Dakotas to the Twin Cities.

The Star Tribune reports the five new power lines that make up CapX2020 cost a total of $2.1 billion, which is being covered by ratepayers.

Two of the lines are still being constructed in South Dakota and Wisconsin, but the Minnesota portion of the project is now virtually finished.

Minnesota's two biggest utility companies, Xcel Energy and Great River Energy, spearheaded the project.

They powered up the two biggest lines more than a month ago. One extends from Fargo to Monticello, the other from Brookings, South Dakota to a substation south of the Twin Cities.

Valley News Live attended the ceremony outside of Fargo.

This embed is invalid

Boosters of the expansion include advocates of wind energy. Beth Soholt of the group Wind on the Wires says in CapX2020's announcement that the project provides a "farm to market road for wind developers" who have often struggled to get space on the limited capacity of the existing power grid.

One reason for the four-decade gap between major power line expansions is that the projects are often unpopular with landowners. An Xcel Energy executive tells the Fargo Forum utilities learned from past failures that projects must be as transparent as possible.

A Minnesota Supreme Court ruling in March clarified that where landowners were unwilling to host the power lines, utility companies had to purchase the property for the project to move ahead.

CapX2020 produced a video offering a glimpse of the construction process.

This embed is invalid

Next Up


Jury: MN pharmacist did not violate woman's rights by refusing her morning-after pill

Gender Justice, the advocacy group that brought about the lawsuit, says it will appeal the decision.

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 3.03.13 PM

Revival to close its original Minneapolis restaurant

Don't worry – it's bringing the chicken to its nearby BBQ joint.


Fatal crash under investigation on Hwy 62 in Mendota Heights

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash near Dodd Road.

Pixabay bike wheel

Driver strikes 5 bicyclists near Mapleton

The Sheriff's Office has indicated that those injured were children.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 3.13.52 PM

The former Bachelor Farmer space is sold in Minneapolis

A new restaurant is expected to open next year.

flooding on Interstate 90

Supercharged atmosphere causing more mega-rain events

There could be a mega-rain event Saturday-Sunday in Minnesota, Wisconsin and/or Iowa.


Massive Burnsville landfill expansion nears final approvals

The City of Burnsville and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are accepting public feedback on the proposal.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 2.35.39 PM

Kyle Rittenhouse attorney to defend accused Apple River killer Nicolae Miu

The attorney who helped Kyle Rittenhouse be acquitted of all charges is defending the alleged Apple River mass stabber.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 7.55.41 AM

Minneapolis police trying to ID pair in connection to fatal shooting

Police say the two people pictured are connected to the fatal shooting of Ivan Redday last month.