Upper Midwest renewable energy projects spark need for more power lines


October 4, 2021

David Joles/Star Tribune, Star Tribune

Big transmission lines run along Highway 52, across the farmland and seen Wednesday outside Hampton. ] DAVID JOLES • david.joles@startribune.com Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Hampton, MN Big transmission lines run along Route 52, across the farmland Wednesday near Hampton.

Xcel Energy cut the size of the Crown Ridge II wind farm in South Dakota by one-third because of a growing problem on the Midwest's electricity grid: too much traffic.

As more renewable energy is linked to the grid, transmission capacity is being strained. New projects are facing increasing costs - and longer waits - in connecting to the grid. Some, like Crown Ridge II, get downsized; others get canceled altogether.

"The grid is full today," said Michael Lamb, Minneapolis-based Xcel's senior vice president for transmission.



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