ALLETE’s (NYSE:ALE) Minnesota Power on Sept. 12 told the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that while it would like to continue to operate its “15 Line” – which is located in Proctor, Minn. – at the existing 115-kV voltage, it would like to rebuild an approximately two-mile segment with structures and conductors capable of accommodating a 230-kV voltage for anticipated future load growth.
The company said that it requests that the commission approve a minor alteration for the reconstruction of that line segment. The company noted that while the reconstruction would result in no change in voltage or right of way (ROW), the rebuild structures and conductor would be capable of operating at a higher voltage – 230 kV.
A minor alteration is a change in a high voltage transmission line that does not result in significant changes in the human or environmental impact of the facility subject to the Power Plant Siting Act, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216E, the company said.
The proposed rebuild structures would replace current H-frame structures with a monopole design within the existing ROW corridor along the same centerline, the company said, adding that no additional ROW would be required to accommodate the project.
Construction is anticipated to begin in 2018, the company said.
In an Aug. 22 filing submitted to the commission – in the same docket (17-203) – the company noted that it submitted in March its initial filing to rebuild a 6.1-mile segment of its existing 15 Line. Since that filing, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has required that Minnesota Power relocate two segments of its 15 Line:
- Where the 15 Line crosses Interstate Highway I-35 in St. Louis County
- Where the 15 Line and the adjacent Minnesota Power 8 Line cross Minnesota State Highway 210 in St. Louis and Carlton counties
As noted in the March 13 filing, the reconstruction activities consist of replacing transmission structure and conductor on about 6.1 miles of the existing 15 line. the company said that each structure would remain on centerline within the existing ROW easement area, but the new structures may be relocated up or down the centerline from their present location.