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The CapX 2020 utilities - an alliance of 11 electric cooperatives, municipals and investor-owned utilities - have asked Minnesota regulators to approve construction of three major transmission lines intended to improve electrical reliability and increase access to renewable energy sources.

The proposed lines would span more than 600 miles and represent one of the largest single transmission initiatives in the region in decades, according to the utilities. The lines include a 200-mile, 345 kV line between Brookings, S.D., and the southeast Twin Cities, plus a related 345 kV line between Marshall, Minn., and Granite Falls, Minn.; a 250-mile, 345 kV line spanning Fargo, N.D., and Alexandria, St. Cloud and Monticello, Minn.; and a 150-mile, 345 kV line between the southeast Twin Cities, Rochester, Minn., and La Crosse, Wis.

As soon as regulatory need and routing decisions are complete in 2009 or 2010, construction is expected to begin, the utilities add. The transmission lines are projected to be completed three or four years later.


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