New Transmission Line to Supply Wind Energy

New Transmission Line to Supply Wind Energy Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 30, 2012 at 7:51 am

ROCHESTER, MN (KNSI) - Construction is set to begin next year on the final leg of the CapX2020 transmission line. Once complete the line will make more of the area wind resources available.

The new line will run from near Hampton in Dakota County down to Rochester and then over to LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Once it's complete, Johnathan Hladik with the Center for Rural Affairs says, it'll get more of the area's wind-energy resources onto the grid...

"Typically there's no way to get this resource to the market, and this line really helps," Jonathan Hladik with the Center for Rural Affairs said. "This is especially true for areas in southeastern Minnesota."

Hladick says construction of the line also means economic development for the area because building the line requires labor and materials.

"A lot of times this is locally sourced, this means more jobs for those who work in manufacturing and construction and more business at every restaurant and at every cafe located near the construction project," Hladick said.

The CapX2020 project also means increased tax dollars for municipalities along the route. Hladik says numbers for Minnesota haven't been calculated yet, but in Wisconsin, 14 local governments along the line will get an average yearly total of more than a half-million dollars.

"Property tax payments and compensation to local communities can make a really big difference in improving schools, roads and municipal services and when you side a new transmission line, that line typically brings a lot of these tax dollars," Hladik said.

This 125-mile leg of the line should be in service in 2015 or 2016. Hladik says those along the route should pay attention for opportunities to weigh in on the development.

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