Plymouth-Area Power Grid Upgrades

Project Update

Construction has begun on the new Pomerleau Lake Substation in Plymouth north of Schmidt Lake Road, just west of I-494.

In March, 2017 the Plymouth City Council approved a zoning and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application submitted by Xcel Energy to the City of Plymouth to construct the new substation as part of the utility's plan to upgrade long-term electric reliability in the Plymouth area. In April, 2017 the Plymouth City Council approved sale of the land to construct the new substation.

Construction timeline (subject to change)

  • Summer 2017: Construction begins on Pomerlau Lake Substation
  • Spring 2018: Start construction of a half-mile of new 69 kV line to connect existing Hollydale 69 kV line to Pomerleau Lake Substation
  • December 2018: Estimated in-service date for Pomerleau Lake Substation and re-energization of 69 kV line between Hollydale and Pomerleau Lake (including a half-mile of new 69 kV line)
  • 2019-2020: Construction of Hollydale Substation upgrades and associated distribution feeders

Project History

We have been working with the community to develop a solution to address electric deficiencies in the Plymouth area for more than seven years. After we withdrew our Hollydale 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line proposal in 2013, we began working to develop new alternatives to ensure the community has reliable electric service. While the population in the city of Plymouth has quadrupled over the last 40 years, the four primary electric substations, as well as the majority of distribution and transmission lines serving the Plymouth area are between 25 and 60 years old.

Three different electric solutions were developed with careful consideration of public input along with a focus on minimizing impacts to the community. We presented these three alternatives (A, B, and C) at two public meetings in May, 2016. The three power grid alternatives would improve reliability by reducing outages caused by overloaded equipment, and by decreasing the amount of time necessary to recover from an outage. Following these public meetings, we carefully reviewed all input, revised alternatives where possible, and compared the three alternatives using both public input and a data-based comparison.

View detailed decision document

Modified Alternative C selected

We are constructing a modified version of Alternative C (view map). This alternative relies on existing infrastructure, requiring less construction of new facilities and minimizing human and environmental impacts. In addition, Alternative C provides the best electrical performance of the three alternatives and is the best long-term solution for the area’s electrical needs.

Following the public meetings, we modified Alternative C by moving the location of the proposed Pomerleau Lake Substation (view substation location) to a parcel of city-owned land north of Schmidt Lake Road and just west of I-494. In addition to constructing the new Pomerleau Lake Substation, Alternative C includes reenergizing the existing 3.4-mile 69 kV line between the new Pomerleau Lake Substation and Hollydale Substation. Re-energizing the line will utilize the existing structures and infrastructure and require vegetation management. Alternative C also includes constructing a half-mile of 69 kV line parallel to an existing transmission line from the existing 69 kV line to the new Pomerleau Lake Substation, and building three 13.8 kV distribution lines (total of 3.3 miles) from the Hollydale Substation. The Hollydale substation will be upgraded on land owned by us.  Alternative C requires no installation of additional pad-mounted transformers in Plymouth.

Great River Energy (GRE) owns the existing 69 kV line and easements in Plymouth. We are negotiating to purchase the line from GRE. In taking ownership of the 69 kV line and easements, we have agreed to restrict the operating voltage of the existing Hollydale to Pomerleau Lake line route to 69 kV.

Public Comments – We have received a significant number of public comments, and view this as a good outcome of our public outreach. View comments received below. In an effort to protect commenter’s privacy, names and contact information are redacted.

Comments part one (PDF)
Comments part two (PDF)
Comments part three (PDF)

Comments containing questions –We are working to provide answers to your questions in a timely manner.   Please view the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF updated 11/23/16) for answers to questions we have received in the comments.

Aging Infrastructure

While the population in the city of Plymouth has quadrupled over the last 40 years, the four primary electric substations, as well as the majority of distribution and transmission lines serving the Plymouth area are between 25 and 60 years old. The energy upgrades are an investment in the area’s future. They will significantly reduce and protect against potential power outages and strengthen the system serving the area.

May, 2016 Plymouth-area Engineering Study Report (PDF)

Contact Us

Email or call 612-330-6644

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