The Midwest has some of the nation’s richest wind resources along with significant solar potential. In the last 10 years Iowa and Minnesota have become national leaders in wind electricity generation. Iowa is the second largest wind electricity producer and Minnesota utilizes the fifth most wind electricity per capita. Both South and North Dakota also rank high on the list.
However, the growth of this rural-based wind industry is hindered by insufficient capacity of our current transmission system, preventing wind from powering homes and businesses. Additionally, the existing grid, that was designed to bring electricity from large generator facilities, is not built to support the large quantities of geographically diverse clean, renewable energy shaping our new energy economy.
Few large transmission lines have been constructed in the Midwest since the 1970s and 1980s. Costing hundreds of millions of dollars, it is necessary that transmission planning and siting balance a number of important issues: reliability, state renewable energy standards and goals, proximity to areas rich with renewable energy potential, impact to local lands. Clean energy development is important – to creating jobs, to our communities and to protecting our air and water. The 17 projects MISO, the regional grid operator, designated as Multi-Value Project lines, are intended to bring the greatest value to each state and regional expansion of renewables at the lowest cost. Now, through local siting stakeholder engagement, local concerns must be balanced to determine an acceptable final route.
Lakefield to Webster | MINNESOTA & IOWA | MVP line 3
Transmission line project information:
This transmission line in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa is one of 17 Midwestern projects designed to help bring more renewable energy onto the grid and increase service reliability to homes and businesses. It will upgrade existing transmission lines in many places, better connect the regional grid and add new lines in key areas. The line will help Minnesota and Iowa capitalize on valuable wind resources, creating jobs and revenue for rural landowners and communities, and continue to build a cleaner and healthier energy future.