Project Need

The Minnesota/Iowa border is one of the most congested areas in the region's electric system. The Huntley-Wilmarth project is needed to relieve this congestion and enable low-cost electric generation to reach customers in the region. New wind generation is some of the lowest cost energy available to customers due, in part, to wind being a zero fuel cost resource.

The project was approved by Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) in December 2016, subject to obtaining a Certificate of Need and a Route Permit  from the MN PUC. MISO first identified congestion on the transmission system in the Huntley-Wilmarth project area in 2008. The targeted in-service date for this project is the end of 2021. Xcel Energy will serve as the project manager and lead the construction process upon approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC).


The Huntley-Wilmarth project will provide several local and regional benefits including:

  • Relieving congestion on the transmission grid
  • Increasing transmission capacity to deliver low cost energy to customers
  • Supporting new generation development, including renewable energy
  • Increasing property tax revenues to local governments