Minnesota Power to break ground on international transmission line following route permit approval

Published on February 28, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line cleared a major regulatory hurdle on Monday with the approval of a route permit for the 500-kilovolt line that will deliver renewable, carbon-free hydroelectricity from Canada to the utility’s customers in Northeastern Minnesota.

The route permit was approval with unanimous support of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The transmission line will be developed by Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE, Inc. Because the line crosses international borders, the route needed a special presidential permit from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Minnesota Power worked hard early on to engage landowners, community members, tribal and
other stakeholders to explain the project and receive feedback. The extensive outreach, including more than 75 meetings and open houses, was a critical part of the project development process,” Brad Oachs, chief operating officer for Minnesota Power, said. “We also received an unprecedented level of local, state and federal involvement, including coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce, in the route development, refinement and selection process that was critical to this important regulatory outcome.”

Minnesota Power needs the line to deliver at least 383 megawatts of energy to its customers by June 1, 2020.