UNDATED (WJON News) - Xcel Energy has proposed two route options for the Minnesota Energy Connection.

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The 175-mile-long transmission line will connect solar and wind energy from Southwest Minnesota with customers in Central Minnesota. The new line will bring 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy to the area, replacing the power generated at the retiring Sherco Coal Plant.

Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy–Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota says the project continues Xcel’s commitment to renewable energy.

Xcel Energy was the first major power company in the nation to set a vision for delivering 100% carbon-free electricity to its customers. Expanding our transmission network allows us to accelerate our progress toward this vision by maximizing our use of the renewable energy we already generate and clearing the way to add new generation to the grid.

The planned routes would follow existing corridors whenever possible, like roads and existing transmission lines, to minimize the impact on natural resources, historic sites, and recreational areas.

Michael Lamb, senior vice president, of customer delivery, gas, and electric with Xcel Energy, says the routes will bring low-cost power to Central Minnesota.

Southwest Minnesota holds some of the richest wind resources in the country. Proposing route options in this application for the Minnesota Energy Connection brings the transmission line one step closer to harnessing these resources to better provide clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to the communities we serve.

State regulators will now review the plan, the permit applications, and the certificate of need. The approval process takes 12 to 15 months and includes an opportunity for public comment.

For more information on the proposed routes, find the map here.




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