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Studies and Reports > 2009 MN Biennial Report > WC Planning Zone > Needs: 6.4.3 Willmar-Litchfield-Paynesville Area

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Transmission Projects Report 2009
Section 6.4: West Central Zone
p. 141

6.4.3 Willmar-Litchfield-Paynesville Area

Tracking Number. 2003-WC-N5

Utility. Great River Energy

Inadequacy. Great River Energy has been reporting on a low voltage problem in the Willmar area since at least 2003. The 69 kV loop in the Willmar area and the 69 kV system from Big Swan to Panther experience low voltage problems during contingencies. In addition, a possible transformer overload contingency at Paynesville has been identified. There are currently two 115/69 kV transformers in the Paynesville Substation, and loss of one of these will overload the remaining transformer. As reported in the 2007 Biennial Report, GRE installed capacitor banks at multiple locations to improve voltage in the area.

A map of the area is shown following this section.

Alternatives. As described in the 2007 Biennial Report, several alternatives were developed to address the transmission deficiencies in this area. As part of the latest GRE long range plan, this area was re-evaluated and two alternatives were identified to address the low voltage problems on the 69 kV system.

Alternative 1. The first alternative was described in the 2005 Biennial plan. It recommends establishing a 230/69 kV substation at Spicer and constructing over nine miles of 69 kV double circuit lines from Spicer to Atwater. One of the double circuited lines would be constructed to the 115 kV standard for future possible upgrade. Also, this option includes a 2.5 mile 69 kV double circuit line from Spicer to Green Lake and a nearly 10 mile 115 kV line from Big Swan to Litchfield. The Big Swan to Litchfield 115 kV line would initially be operated at 69 kV.

Alternative 2. The second alternative, which has only been identified in the last year, includes constructing a 19 mile 69 kV line from Paynesville to Grove City, constructing a ten mile 115 kV line for 69 kV operation from Big Swan to Litchfield, and establishing a 69 kV switching station at Grove City.

GRE continues to evaluate the situation and to develop other potential alternatives to address the transmission deficiencies of the 69 kV system in the area. GRE will investigate possible construction of new 230 kV lines to improve the existing 230 kV system, which will thereby strengthen the 69 kV system that it serves.

Analysis. Currently, based on cost, system improvement, and opportunities for future system upgrade, the preferred alternative to address the immediate deficiencies in the area is the first alternative. This alternative addresses the needs of the 69 kV system in the Willmar area as well as on the Big Swan to Panther 69 kV system. The second alternative is not preferable because it doesn’t address the low voltage issues in the Willmar 69 kV loop.

Schedule. The Spicer 230/69 kV source along with the Spicer to Atwater double circuit line is tentatively scheduled to be in-service in the 2012 timeframe and the Big Swan to Litchfield 115 kV is recommended to be constructed in the 2018 timeframe.


Transmission Projects Report 2009
Section 6.4: West Central Zone
p. 143

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