Massive Capx2020 Transformer Unloaded in Pine Island

Created: 02/11/2014 6:43 PM
By: Sean Boswell

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A massive transformer was been unloaded in Pine Island on Tuesday, and it will have an impact on energy consumption across Southeastern Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin.

"This is reinforcing service to all of the consumers in this general area," said David Olson with Xcel Energy.


CapX2020 is a project that has been in the works for years. Tuesday marked a landmark in fulfilling all of its goals. A 385-foot trailer came down from Randolph with a police escort carrying the transformer. The 34 mile trip took about five hours. The device will bring voltage down to a usable level for the area.

"You need to make sure you have the infrastructure in place to get that electricity into Rochester and that's what CapX2020 will help do," said Tony Benson with Rochester Public Utilities.

RPU has asked in previous years for residents to cut down on energy consumption as the decades old transmission grid has reached “peak” levels during the summer.

"Everybody throws on their air conditioning and their appliances and everything and it uses a high amount of electricity," said Benson.

The transformer will increase reliability for Rochester and surrounding areas, stretching 150 miles from Hampton to Rochester to Lacrosse, WI.

"Two lines will eventually go into the city of Rochester to reinforce the Rochester system, there's circuit breakers on each line, controls on each line," said Olson.

Overall, this transformer took about a year and a half to build, and it weighs over 500,000 lbs. 

CapX2020 is the most expensive expansion of the Midwest power grid in more than 40 years.