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Construction Begins Next Year on Final Leg of CapX2020 Transmission Line

PHOTO: Wind turbines
PHOTO: Wind turbines
July 30, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. - With final approval for the project in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, construction is set to begin next year on the final leg of the CapX2020 transmission line. It'll run from near Hampton in Dakota County down to Rochester and then over to LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

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

"Typically there is no way to get this resource to the market. This line really helps. This is especially true for rural areas in southeast Minnesota."

He says construction of the line also means economic development for the area.

"That's because building transmission lines requires labor and materials, and a lot of times this is locally sourced. This means more jobs for those who work in manufacturing or construction, and more business at every restaurant and every cafe located near the construction project."

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 site a new transmission line, that line typically brings a lot of these tax dollars."

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.

More information is at www.cfra.org.


John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN