Xcel Energy Completes BRIGO Wind Energy Transmission Projects

Xcel Energy this week announced the successful completion of the Buffalo Ridge Incremental Generation Outlet (BRIGO) Transmission Projects, designed to increase the system’s ability to carry wind power to Minnesota and South Dakota customers. The BRIGO series of projects installed approximately 50 miles of new transmission lines from the wind-rich Buffalo Ridge area of Minnesota and South Dakota.

The projects increased the system’s export capacity from 260 megawatts in 1999 to approximately 1,200 megawatts in 2009. Currently, wind energy is almost 8 percent of Xcel Energy’s fuel mix in the Upper Midwest, and by 2020 it is planned that wind power will be about 19 percent of the company’s energy portfolio in the region.

The BRIGO series of projects included a second 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line connecting Fenton Substation to Nobles County Substation, a new 115-kV line from Lake Yankton Substation to Southeast Marshall Substation a second 115-kV line from Yankee Substation to Brookings County Substation in South Dakota, as well as a second 345-kV line connecting Brookings County and White Substations in South Dakota and associated transformer installations in Nobles County and Brookings County.

Work on the BRIGO projects was completed ahead of schedule at a total cost of approximately US $55 million.

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