Great River Energy on June 3 filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission an application for a route permit for the approximately $1.5m Lake Eunice 115-kV Transmission Conversion Project.
Great River Energy noted that the project involves converting about a 0.80-mile portion of its 41.6-kV LR-LET transmission line to 115-kV standards in Becker County, Minn., to serve the proposed 115-kV conversion of the Lake Eunice substation. Great River Energy proposes to remove 3.65 miles of the 10.24-mile 41.6-kV LR-LET transmission line and build a 0.80-mile 115-kV transmission line between the existing Lake Eunice substation and the existing Great River Energy LR-CF 115-kV transmission line.
Great River Energy added that it anticipates start of construction in fall 2020, and energization of the 115-kV line in spring 2021.
Great River Energy currently owns the LR-LET line with Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s 12.5-kV distribution underbuild attached. Great River Energy also noted that it would lean the existing 41.6-kV with the distribution underbuild circuit while building the new 115-kV to minimize outage times. Great River Energy said that it would also need to temporarily move the 41.6-kV tap on Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s property to make room for substation construction. After the conversion to 115 kV, the south 0.80 mile and north 2.85 miles of the 41.6-kV conductor would be removed. Great River Energy also noted that Lake Region Electric Cooperative would own the remaining 6.59 miles of the 41.6-kV line for distribution purposes and retain all existing distribution lines in the area.
Single-pole wood structures with horizontal post insulators would be used for most of the transmission line, Great River Energy said, adding that laminated wood poles or steel poles may be required in some locations.
Great River Energy noted that it is requesting approval of a 200-foot route width for the transmission line and a wider route width – 400 feet – in the vicinity of the substation to accommodate routing the line into the Lake Eunice substation. Route width is defined as the area in which Great River Energy would confine its search for the appropriate location of the line. Great River Energy also said that the proposed 115-kV line would require a 90-foot-wide ROW.
The project is being proposed to improve electrical service to members in the rural area southwest of Detroit Lakes, Minn., including Lake Eunice, Dunn, and Lake View townships. Great River Energy added that the proposed upgrades would allow more than 10 miles of 41.6-kV radial transmission line to be replaced by the 0.8-mile, 115-kV loop fed transmission line. The new line would improve the reliability of the transmission feeding the Lake Eunice substation and thus improve the reliability of the approximate 2,000 members served off of that substation.
Among other things, Great River Energy said that no significant unavoidable environmental impacts would result from construction of the proposed line. No homeowners would be displaced by construction of the line, Great River Energy said, adding that all agricultural land impacted during construction would be returned to its natural condition as nearly as possible, and landowners would be compensated for any losses from construction.