Minnesota Power, Great River Energy plan transmission line project for better electric reliability

Minnesota Power and Great River Energy plan to build a double-circuit 345-kV transmission line...
Minnesota Power and Great River Energy plan to build a double-circuit 345-kV transmission line stretching from northern Minnesota to central Minnesota.(Minnesota Power Reps)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 4:53 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN -- Minnesota Power and Great River Energy plan to build a double-circuit 345-kV transmission line stretching from northern Minnesota to central Minnesota.

Leaders announced these plans Monday.

The approximately 150-mile transmission line will run from Minnesota Power’s Iron Range Substation in Itasca County to Great River Energy’s Benton County Substation in Benton County, and then replace an existing Great River Energy transmission line from Benton County to a new substation in Sherburne County.

The Sherburne County substation will be built as part of a separate project.

This joint project is one of a portfolio of transmission projects approved July 25 by the region’s grid operator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), as part of the first phase of its Long Range Transmission Plan. In total MISO approved 18 projects across its Midwest sub region, with six, including the Minnesota Power/Great River Energy project, in the Upper Midwest.

“Investing in transmission resources is a critical component of our EnergyForward strategy for building a carbon-free energy future while maintaining the reliable service our customers and communities expect,” said Josh Skelton, Minnesota Power chief operating officer.

“This joint project with Great River Energy will ensure that the regional power grid our customers depend on will continue to be reliable and flexible as we navigate a changing energy mix for Minnesota Power and in the broader MISO region.”

Minnesota Power representatives say companies need to take proactive steps like this as extreme weather events become more frequent and more low cost renewable energy comes online.

The project is still in its early stages and needs several more rounds of approval.

They plan to begin community outreach later this year.

If all goes well, the transmission line is estimated to be in service by 2030.

For more information, click here.

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