ABOUT THE PROJECT

500 kV Transmission Line and Substation

Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE, provides electricity in a 26,000-square-mile electric service area in northeastern Minnesota. Minnesota Power supplies retail electric service to 144,000 customers and wholesale electric service to 16 municipalities.

The Great Northern Transmission Line will carry hydropower from Manitoba Hydro to Minnesota Power’s customers. The Manitoba Hydro purchase will provide Minnesota Power’s customers and the upper midwest access to a reasonably priced, predominantly emission free energy supply that has a combination of base load supply characteristics, price certainty and resource optimization flexibility not available in comparable alternatives for meeting customer requirements.

The Great Northern Transmission Line will consist of a 500 kV transmission line from the Minnesota-Manitoba border to the Blackberry 500 kV Substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, as well as associated substation facilities and transmission system modifications.

The project schedule is driven by state and federal regulatory requirements and a required June 2020 in-service date. Project steps include:

  • Identify opportunities & constraints
  • Route the line
  • Obtain environmental permits
  • Design the line
  • Construct the line

Anticipated Project Schedule

2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018-2020
PLANNING
REGULATORY REVIEW
RIGHT-OF-WAY ACTIVITIES
DESIGN & PERMITTING
CONSTRUCTION
Line in Service

Major Regulatory Milestones

  • US Department of Energy — Presidential Permit: November 15, 2016
  • Minnesota Public Utilities Commission — Certificate of Need: June 30, 2015
  • Minnesota Public Utilities Commission — Route Permit: April 11, 2016
  • US Army Corps of Engineers — Section 404 Permit: December 7, 2016
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service — ROW Permit: January 17, 2017
  • DNR License to Cross Public Lands and Waters: ongoing

PROJECT GOALS

Diversify

Minnesota Power is working to diversify its energy fuel supply. The Great Northern Transmission Line will deliver hydropower and is a key component of the company’s long-term strategy to increase carbon-free energy and reduce emissions.

Diversify

Minnesota Power is working to diversify its energy fuel supply. The Great Northern Transmission Line will deliver hydropower and is a key component of the company’s long-term strategy to increase carbon-free energy and reduce emissions.

Diversify

Minnesota Power is working to diversify its energy fuel supply. The Great Northern Transmission Line will deliver hydropower and is a key component of the company’s long-term strategy to increase carbon-free energy and reduce emissions.