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Controversial power line project could come through La Crosse area  

Utilities in Minnesota are embarking on their biggest power line project in more than 30 years. The 1.6-billion-dollar project is being proposed by CapX-2020.

It involves three high-voltage power lines stretching across 630 miles. The lines include a 230-mile line from Brookings, South Dakota, to the southeast Twin Cities; a 250-mile line from Fargo, North Dakota, to Monticello; and a 150-mile line from the southeast Twin Cities to Rochester and LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Exact routes have yet to be determined.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce held a public meeting in Winona Thursday for residents to learn more about the project.

Some environmental leaders disagree about the need for the lines and the boost they might provide to wind power. But some say the lines are needed to supply more wind power to consumers.

“Our goal isn’t to focus on bringing coal into the area. It’s to improve the overall transmission grid. We haven’t done any major improvements for almost 40 years and electricity growth has grown. We also have more demands on additional generation that needs to be built,” says Pam Rasmussen from Xcel Energy.

Xcel Energy Officials say they’re still very early in the design process. The public will have more opportunities to provide input in the near future.

To learn more about the project and to see proposed project study corridors, click here.


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