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Regulators endorse power line improvements

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota utility regulators have approved three power line projects that are meant to strengthen the regional electric grid.

Otter Tail Power Co. and Xcel Energy Inc. are cooperating on two projects. They involve building a 250-mile transmission line from Fargo to suburban Minneapolis, and another 68-mile line between Bemidji and Grand Rapids in Minnesota.

Xcel is building the third project. It’s a 150-mile transmission line between St. Paul, Minn., and LaCrosse, Wis.

According to North Dakota’s Public Service Commission, the approval depends on the utilities agreeing to start construction.

The ruling Wednesday says the projects are reasonable. This will help the utilities later when they ask for higher electric rates to pay for them.

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