Work on CapX2020 transmission line project moves into ND
FARGO - Construction is underway on the last leg of a new power line that will connect Fargo-Moorhead to the Twin Cities and start delivering electricity in May.
FARGO – Construction is underway on the last leg of a new power line that will connect Fargo-Moorhead to the Twin Cities and start delivering electricity in May.
At times between now and February, helicopter crews will help install the transmission line. It will include a crossing of Interstate 29 near Mapleton, where a new power substation is located.
Xcel, which is coordinating the project, has notified landowners and wants to alert motorists that helicopter crews will work from time to time to help install the transmission line and attachments, such as bird diverters.
“There will definitely be helicopter work in North Dakota, now into February,” said Sarah Gedrose, an Xcel spokeswoman.
Helicopters, which started flying in North Dakota on Wednesday, help to save time and minimize ground disturbances, but can only be flown when weather conditions permit, she said.
Work on the $640 million CapX2020 line, a joint effort of utilities including Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power, started in 2010 and generally follows the I-94 corridor along most of its 240-mile route.
Construction on the 35-mile North Dakota transmission segment is expected to conclude in April. Support towers already are in place.
The 345-kilovolt power line crosses the Red River south of Fargo-Moorhead, then juts north, along a route west of West Fargo, connecting to the Bison substation west of Mapleton.
Segments of the transmission line from Monticello, Minn., to St. Cloud and Alexandria already are delivering power.
Earlier this week, the North Dakota Public Service Commission approved charges starting Jan. 1 to allow utilities to recover transmission costs.
Xcel got approval to charge residential customers an average of $1.88 per month, about 80 percent for the CapX2020 project, and Otter Tail Power got approval to charge an additional $2.06 per month for residential customers.