CapX 2020 began in 2004 as a joint initiative of transmission-owning utilities in Minnesota and the surrounding region formed to expand the electric transmission grid to ensure electric reliability for years to come. In 2006, the Agency joined CapX 2020. The CapX 2020 project was initially a collaborative planning effort by various utilities (including SMMPA, cooperatives, municipals, and investor-owned utilities) to assess the current system and project the growth in customer demand for electricity through 2020. Planning studies have shown that customer demand for electricity will grow 6,300 megawatts (MW) by 2020, therefore the grid must have the ability to transmit 8,000 MW of electricity to comply with required reserves and compensate for slight voltage loss that accompanies long-distance transmission.
CapX2020 is a joint initiative of 11 transmission-owning utilities in Minnesota and the surrounding region. The CapX2020 utilities include cooperatives and investor-owned and municipal utilities:
- Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
- Dairyland Power Cooperative
- Great River Energy
- Minnesota Power
- Missouri River Energy Services
- Otter Tail Power Company
- Rochester Public Utilities
- Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
- WPPI Energy
- Xcel Energy
The CapX 2020 projects include transmission lines and associated substations.
- A 250-mile, 345 kV line between Brookings County, South Dakota and Hampton, Minnesota, including a related 345 kV line between Marshall and Granite Falls, Minnesota
- A 240-mile, 345 kV line between Fargo, North Dakota and St. Cloud and Monticello, Minnesota
- A 150-mile, 345 kV line between Hampton and Rochester, Minnesota continuing to LaCrosse, Wisconsin
- A 70-mile, 345 kV line between Big Stone City and Brookings, South Dakota
- A 70-mile, 230 kV line between Bemidji and Grand Rapids in north central Minnesota
For more information on this and related projects please visit the CapX2020 website.