Grid North Partners pick up where CapX2020 left off

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Grid North Partners pick up where CapX2020 left off

March 16, 2021

Following the development and construction of more than 800 miles of new high- voltage transmission infrastructure in the Upper Midwest, the 10 CapX2020 utilities have renamed their organization Grid North Partners. The new name reflects the partners’ strategy to identify collaborative solutions to meet the region’s evolving energy needs.

The Grid North Partners include the municipal entities Central Municipal Power Agency/Services, Missouri River Energy Services, Rochester Public Utilities, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency and WPPI Energy along with generation and transmission cooperatives Dairyland Power Cooperative and Great River Energy and the investor-owned utilities Minnesota Power, Otter Tail Power Company and Xcel Energy.

“The CapX2020 projects are serving customers well, bringing power to where it is needed, while also building a solid transmission grid that will ensure our region continues to enjoy the reliable electric service that powers our communities and our economy,” said Mark Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency and Chairman of the Grid North Partners Vision Team. “As we look toward 2050, it’s imperative that our teams identify long-term transmission options to meet the changing needs of our partners and their customers.”

The companies published a 2050 Vision Report in 2020 that identified the need for new transmission infrastructure as the region’s energy mix shifts. The group continues to work with policymakers and stakeholders to explain the study’s findings and to advocate for policies that will ensure the continued delivery of reliable and affordable electricity to customers.

As energy needs evolve, so must the transmission grid that serves the nearly 3 million customers of the Grid North Partners in the Upper Midwest. Utility planners, including the Grid North Partners, have prompted these conversations among regulators and policymakers for nearly two decades, and will continue to use their experience and expertise to ensure that as the energy system evolves, the transmission system is there to serve their customers and support shared policy goals.

The evolution of the CapX2020 organization reflects the changing nature of our electric system, and the new name reflects the priorities of the group.

“As our companies evaluate and meet the energy challenges we face in the coming decades, we’ll continue to depend on the partnership we’ve developed while expanding our transmission capacity, and use our collective knowledge, experience and relationships to ensure the electric grid in the northern United States reliably delivers for our customers,” said Mitchell.

Grid North Partners will host an industry conference in the spring of 2021 to highlight the industry’s opportunities and challenges and how the organization can develop solutions to meet the needs of customers in the Upper Midwest. Additional information will be released in the coming weeks.

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