Xcel Energy is proposing to build a new double-circuit 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the retiring Sherco coal plant near Becker, Minn., and Lyon County in southwest Minn. The new transmission infrastructure is designed to enable more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy to replace the electricity produced by the existing coal plants.
The new transmission line will re-use the existing grid connections in Becker, opening a path for new renewable energy in the wind-rich southern and southwest Minnesota regions. Xcel Energy must meet federal requirements to re-use the grid connections when the final coal unit retires or may lose the ability to connect energy there to serve customers.
The new power line will make it possible to build new renewable energy, creating jobs in the communities where the infrastructure is located. New wind and solar projects will also bring new tax revenue and lease payments for landowners.