Xcel Energy Dairyland Power Rochester Public Utilities Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency

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Frequently Asked Questions

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The Mankato-Mississippi River Transmission Project includes about 120 miles of 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines between the existing Wilmarth Substation near Mankato, Minnesota, and a connection point at the Mississippi River near Kellogg. It also includes building about 20 miles of new 161 kV transmission lines between the existing North Rochester Substation near Pine Island, Minnesota, and an existing transmission line northeast of Rochester, which is being relocated from its existing alignment to install the new 345 kV infrastructure.

The project includes four segments:

  • Segment 1: Mankato to Faribault (345 kV) - Develop about 40 miles of new 345 kV transmission lines in existing transmission corridors between the Wilmarth Substation near Mankato and the West Faribault Substation in Faribault.
  • Segment 2: Faribault to North Rochester Substation (345 kV) - Develop about 35-40 miles of 345 kV transmission lines in either a new corridor and/or in existing transmission corridors from near the West Faribault Substation to the North Rochester Substation near Pine Island.
  • Segment 3: North Rochester Substation to the Mississippi River (345 kV) - Convert about 26 miles of 161 kV line to 345 kV line and install about 16 miles of new 345 kV line on existing structures between the North Rochester Substation and the Mississippi River.
  • Segment 4: North Rochester Substation to Chester Junction (161 kV) - Develop about 20 miles of a new single-circuit 161 kV line from the North Rochester Substation to an existing transmission line northeast of Rochester.

The Mankato-Mississippi River Transmission Line Project is part of a portfolio of long-range electric transmission projects identified by the regional grid operator, MISO, to improve reliability, relieve capacity on the grid as electricity use increases and more renewable energy is needed for customers, create more system resiliency during extreme weather and support adding new low-cost, renewable energy in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest.

This project, along with a portfolio of other projects in the region, will strengthen the overall backbone of the transmission grid, ensuring customers receive the electricity they need to power their homes and businesses.

This project will provide several benefits in southern Minnesota and throughout the Upper Midwest:

  • Adding transmission capacity to accommodate delivery of increasing amounts of renewable energy generation as aging traditional generation resources retire.
  • Increasing the reliability and resilience of the Upper Midwest energy grid by developing new high-voltage connections to key substations that serve customers throughout southern Minnesota.
  • Enabling greater access to low-cost renewable energy.
  • Upgrading and updating infrastructure supports the ability for companies in the region to thrive and grow when there is access to reliable, resilient power.
  • Hiring local construction workers and companies, when possible, for construction services, including cement, concrete, equipment rentals and related services. Similar projects have shown that hundreds of workers and companies participate in these projects, providing benefits to the local economy.
  • Building new transmission lines encourages construction of wind and solar power to bring more low-cost renewable electricity to help meet the electric needs of our state. These projects provide construction jobs, lease revenue for farmers and increased tax base to support communities.

Permitting Documents

Combined Application

In April 2024, Xcel Energy filed a combined Certificate of Need and Route Permit Application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission proposing two route options for the Mankato-Mississippi River Transmission Project.


Outreach Materials

Find current and past outreach materials on our Events page.

Project Segments

Learn more about each of the four project segments, explore the interactive map and drop a pin to leave a comment.

View our Interactive Map

Upcoming Events

The project team held public open house meetings in September 2023. The materials presented at those meetings are posted on our Events page.

View Events

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Comments? Questions?

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