Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE, on June 11 said that it has energized its 224-mile, 500-kV Great Northern Transmission Line, noting that the line is now delivering 250 MW of hydropower from Manitoba, Canada, to Minnesota Power customers.
Minnesota Power spokesperson Amy Rutledge on June 22 told TransmissionHub that the approximately $700m “line was energized on June 1, which was our exact target date.”
The company said that it completed the project in February. The line, which runs from the Canadian border in Roseau County to a substation near Grand Rapids, Minn., consists of 800 tower structures that were fabricated in the United States and used 10,000 tons of North American steel.
As noted on the project’s website, the project consists of the line, which runs from the Minnesota-Manitoba border to the Iron Range 500-kV substation near Grand Rapids, as well as associated substation facilities and transmission system modifications.
ALLETE President and CEO Bethany Owen said in the statement, in part, that the project “will help Minnesota Power to provide our customers with 50 percent renewable energy less than a year from now. As part of our EnergyForward strategy, it also strengthens the grid across the Midwest and in Canada, enhancing reliability for all of our customers.”
The EnergyForward strategy involves ALLETE transitioning away from coal and adding renewable power sources, while maintaining reliable and affordable service for customers, Minnesota Power said.
As noted in the statement, Minnesota Power and Manitoba Hydro coordinated on the project from the start.
The company also said that it engaged federal, state, and local agencies; the sovereign Red Lake Nation and other tribes; as well as landowners along the proposed routes beginning in 2012. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the project’s preferred route in April 2016, Minnesota Power said, adding that the U.S. Department of Energy approved a Presidential Permit for the project in late 2016, and that construction of the line began in early 2017.