Two major high-voltage lines spanning almost 500 miles were energized in early 2015 under the CapX2020 banner, the largest transmission expansion in the upper Midwest in more than 40 years.
The Brookings County-Hampton project is a 250-mile 345-kilovolt line between the Brookings County Substation near Brookings, S.D., and the Hampton Substation near Hampton, Minn., south of the Twin Cities. The second line runs between the Bison Substation near Fargo, N.D., and Monticello, Minn.
In all, CapX encompasses six major projects that will develop more than 800 miles of new transmission facilities at a cost of about $2.2 billion, of which WMMPA invested more than $105 million. Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) is one of 11 regional utilities participating in the effort. The projects have been in the works for more than a decade.
MISO and SPP
MRES is part of two of the nation’s regional transmission organizations. MRES became a member of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., (MISO) in 2003 when MISO was created in a region including half of the MRES member load. In 2015, MRES became part of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), after the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), which provides about 40 percent of the power used by MRES members, joined SPP. The SPP footprint includes the MRES members that are not in the MISO footprint.