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Minnesota Power energizes 500 kV transmission line

image credit: Minnesota Power
DW Keefer's picture
Journalist Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

  • Member since 2017
  • 277 items added with 262,901 views
  • Jun 16, 2020

Minnesota Power said it energized earlier this month the 224-mile-long, 500 kV Great Northern Transmission Line, which is intended to import hydropower from Manitoba, Canada.

The utility said it completed the transmission line in February 2020, ahead of schedule and under budget.

The new transmission line is expected to help Minnesota Power achieve 50 percent renewable energy in 2021.  The line connects with Manitoba Hydro’s recently completed Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project.

Minnesota Power sees Canadian hydropower as key during times when the wind doesn't blow at its wind farms.

Under purchase agreements approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Manitoba Hydro can reduce the flow of water through its hydro-generators when excess wind power is produced by Minnesota Power's wind farms. When winds are light, Manitoba Hydro can release more water and send more electricity south.

Minnesota Power first proposed buying 250 megawatts of hydropower from Manitoba Hydro in 2008. Planning began in 2012 and a proposed route was approved by regulators in 2016. Construction began in 2017.

The line extends from the Minnesota-Manitoba border to the Iron Range 500 kV substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The project included associated substation facilities and transmission system modifications.



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