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Studies and Reports > 2009 MN Biennial Report > WC Planning Zone > Needs: 6.4 West Central Zone

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Transmission Projects Report 2009
Section 6.4: West Central Zone
p. 139

6.4.2 St. Cloud Area

Tracking Number. 2003-WC-N4

Utility. Xcel Energy

Inadequacy. The St. Cloud area includes the City of St. Cloud and surrounding suburbs. The area is bounded by Benton County, Granite City, St. Regis, West St. Cloud to the west and Monticello, Paynesville and Sherco to the south. The entire St. Cloud area and much of central Minnesota relies on the single source of the Benton County Substation and the single 115 kV double circuit line from Benton County. The total load exceeds the capability of the 115 kV loop to supply the area during a contingency. An additional source of bulk power supply is needed into St. Cloud and central Minnesota. The St. Cloud area is in need of well over 100 MW of additional support.

A map of the area is shown on the following page.

Alternatives. Currently, the St. Cloud area is fed from one bulk power source – a 345 kV line from the Xcel Energy Sherburne County Generating Station to the Benton County Substation. From there, a double-circuit 115 kV line transports a large portion of the area’s power into the city. The best long-range solution to the St. Cloud area service concerns is the construction of a new bulk supply source.

Analysis. Several utilities have proposed to construct a new 345 kV transmission line from Fargo, North Dakota, to the Twin Cities area near Monticello as part of the CapX 2020 Vision Plan. This line will pass near the St. Cloud area and can be tapped to provide a source to the area. The Red River Valley Load Serving Study/TIPS Update contains the latest information on the 345 kV line.

A 2006 St. Cloud study recommended a St. Cloud-area 345 kV interconnection on the west side of town to provide a transmission source geographically diverse from the Benton County source. This substation is being planned as part of the Monticello – Fargo 345 kV line and is tentatively named Quarry Substation. The study also recommended upgrading the existing 115 kV infrastructure in St. Cloud to support the growing load in the area.

The 115 kV system upgrades required to support the new 345/115 kV substation involve upgrading the 115 kV line from Quarry to Sauk River to West St. Cloud. To improve the reliability of service to the City of Sauk Rapids and St. Regis load, a new four mile 115 kV line is proposed between Granite City and Mayhew Lake substations. This will provide a second source to the Mayhew Lake Substation and reduce the exposure of the St. Regis load to less than two miles.

Schedule. Xcel Energy is upgrading the Sauk River – St. Cloud line to higher capacity to accommodate current needs. At the time of completion of the Quarry Substation, the 115 kV line between Sauk River and West St. Cloud will be upgraded to higher capacity. The expected in-service date for the upgraded 115 kV line is mid-2013.


Transmission Projects Report 2009
Section 6.4: West Central Zone
p. 140

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