Great River Energy provides update to Minnesota regulators on 115-kV project

Great River Energy on Jan. 4 filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) a status report of the Menahga Area 115-kV Project, which also involves Minnesota Power, noting that the project’s Hubbard Substation to Straight River Switch Segment was energized on Sept. 29, 2016, through a temporary connection at the Hubbard substation, with load placed on the Straight River substation that same day.

As noted in the filing, the PUC in March 2016 issued an order granting Great River Energy and Minnesota Power a route permit for the Menahga Area 115-kV Project.

As TransmissionHub reported, according to the PUC’s March 2016 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.

Minnesota Power on Sept. 30 told the PUC that all construction activities for the company’s portion of the Menahga High Voltage Transmission Line (HVTL) Project are complete.

According to the Jan. 4 filing, project construction – tree clearing – of the Hubbard Substation to Straight River Switch Segment began in March 2016, and is complete. Transmission line construction – framing – began in April 2016, and the transmission line work is complete – all 108 poles, including steel poles, Great River Energy said.

At the Hubbard substation, one of the 115/34.5-kV transformers and the 34.5-kV bay have been removed, the company said. A new 115-kV high side structure and associated equipment have been erected, the temporary connection has been removed, and the transmission line has been terminated on the new structure, the company said.

Great River Energy also noted that retirement of the Minnesota Power 34.5-kV line did not begin in December 2016, but will be started this month, and will continue through the winter.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3229 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.