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Great Northern Transmission Line project on schedule [free access]

July 29, 2019

Reportedly, the development of the Great Northern Transmission Line is progressing as per schedule. The project is being developed by Minnesota Power—a division of ALLETE Company.


The project will carry hydropower generated by Canada-based Manitoba Hydro to Minnesota Power’s customers. It consists of a 220-mile (354-km), 500 kV overhead single-circuit transmission line from the Dorsey substation northwest of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, to the existing Blackberry substation east of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.


The project is being developed in two phases. Phase 1 includes a 220-mile (354.2-km), 500 kV transmission line from the Canadian border to the Blackberry substation in Minnesota's Iron Range, which will be constructed by Minnesota Power. Phase 2 entails the construction of a 50-70 mile (80-113 km), 345 kV double-circuit line between the Blackberry substation and the Arrowhead substation near Hermantown in Duluth in Minnesota.


The project, expected to cost USD560-710 million, will facilitate bidirectional power flow between the two countries. When wind farms in the US are running, wind-based power could be sent to Canada. During periods of idle winds, Manitoba Hydro will release stored water from dams to generate additional electricity for Minnesota Power.

The project schedule is driven by state and federal regulatory requirements, and has an in-service date of June 2020.