Project Update

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued a written order approving the Huntley-Wilmarth transmission line project on August 5. The Commission voted in favor of the proposed purple route (including segments BB and L)

Watonwan River Crossing Area

The Commission gave direction to review an alternate route within an approximate two mile section of the approved route in the Watonwan River area and report back to the Commission within 60 days of the order. Xcel Energy studied alternate routes in this area and presented analysis to the Commission. In November, the Commission voted in favor of the green route two mile section (View map of aproved route)

Xcel Energy officials are reaching out to affected landowners to conduct surveys, soil borings and acquire the necessary easements in 2019. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020. Read the full press release for more information.

Quick Facts

Voltage: 345 kilovolt line

Location: Blue Earth, Faribault, Nicollet, and Martin Counties, Minnesota

Estimated transmission line length: 50 miles

Targeted in-service: end of 2021

Project Overview

Xcel Energy and ITC Midwest LLC are building the Huntley-Wilmarth project, an approximately 50 mile, 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in southern Minnesota. The transmission line will connect Xcel Energy’s Wilmarth Substation, north of Mankato, and ITC’s Huntley Substation, south of Winnebago. Xcel Energy is the project manager and will be leading the construction process. The new line will be built using steel single pole structures in most areas. At some locations two-pole structures may be required.

Project Need

The Huntley-Wilmarth project will reduce congestion on the transmission grid in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa and deliver low-cost electricity from generation facilities, including wind farms in the area, to consumers. Learn more about why the project is needed.

The Huntley-Wilmarth project required two approvals from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission), a certificate of need and a route permit. The Commission determines whether the project is needed and, if it is needed, the route for the project. The Commission determined the project was needed and decided on the appropriate route in June 2019.

Learn more about the permitting process and view the Draft EIS, Certificate of Need and Route Permit.

All project documents are available on the Commission’s eDockets website. Select “17” in the year field and enter “184” in the number field for the certificate of need or “185” in the number field for the Route Permit. Then click on “search.” Project documents are also available on the Department of Commerce’s website.

Permitting Schedule (subject to change)

Certificate of need and route permit applications submitted to Commission January 2018
Informational and scoping meetings (public meetings and comment) Spring 2018
Draft environmental impact statement issued (public meetings and comment period) December 2018
Public meeting on draft environmental impact statement (public meetings and comment period) January 2019
Public Hearings (public hearings and comment period) January/February 2019
Commission decisions Summer 2019
Easement acquisition Summer/Fall 2019
Construction begins Spring 2020
Project completion Winter 2021

View the latest project mailings, fact sheets and FAQs on the Resources page.

Detailed Project Maps

To view the project routes, please type your address in the search box on the interactive map below.  You may also view PDFs of the maps by selecting the map that corresponds to the desired grid section on the overview map.