Minnesota Power: Substation construction 90% complete for Menahga project

Minnesota Power, in a Sept. 9 letter filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), said that its portion of the Menahga High Voltage Transmission Line Project in north-central Minnesota will be completed this month.

As noted in the letter, the PUC on March 14 granted Great River Energy and Minnesota Power a route permit for the project. Minnesota Power noted that its portion of the project includes a 0.2-mile segment of new 115-kV high voltage transmission line and an electrical substation.

The company also said in its letter that substation construction is 90% complete, and construction of its 0.2-mile line is complete.

No complaints were received during August, the company said.

According to the PUC’s March 14 order, Great River Energy and Minnesota Power in January 2015 filed a joint certificate of need and route permit petition for the proposed project in Hubbard, Wadena and Becker counties. The companies proposed to build and modify certain substations, as well as build about 22.5 miles of new overhead 115-kV transmission line from the existing Hubbard substation westward to a new Straight River substation, and then southward to a new Blueberry substation near the city of Menahga and on to a new Red Eye substation.

The order added that the project includes:

  • Building 4.5 miles of double-circuit 115-kV transmission line and about 2.5 miles of single-circuit 115-kV transmission line from the Hubbard substation to Minnesota Power’s proposed Straight River substation
  • Building the Straight River substation
  • Building about 15.5 miles of primarily single-circuit 115-kV transmission line south to Great River Energy’s proposed Blueberry substation and Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative’s Red Eye distribution substation
  • Building the Blueberry substation, relocating the existing Todd-Wadena Menagha distribution substation to the Blueberry substation site, and increasing the voltage from 34.5-kV to 115-kV
  • Building the Red Eye distribution substation to serve a proposed pipeline pumping station; the PUC has already granted a certificate of need for the pumping station
  • Modifying the existing Hubbard substation and Minnesota Pipeline substation

The companies proposed the project to reduce the possibility that demands on the existing 34.5-kV transmission system near the city of Menahga would exceed its capacity, and to serve an oil pumping station proposed for the area, according to the order.

Minnesota Power is a subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE). Great River Energy is a Touchstone Energy cooperative.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.