- Minnesota Power has filed applications to build a 500 kV transmission line that would bring Canadian hydropower into the U.S. The project will cost $500-650 million.
- The Great Northern Transmission Line, as it's called, would run north from the Minnesota-Manitoba border to a substation on the Mesabi Iron Range. Manitoba Hydro would generate electricity that would run on the lines.
- A route permit application with two alternative routes was filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and a Presidential Permit application was filed with the U.S. Department of Energy. The Presidential Permit is needed to build across the U.S.-Canada border.
The transmission line would bring in at least 750 MW of hydro power to the U.S. by 2020. The move is part of Minnesota Power's EnergyForward initiative to increase reliance on renewable energy.
The project utilizes an “unique synergy involving hydropower and wind,” said Minnesota Power Chief Operating Officer Brad Oachs. "The new transmission capacity more readily allows the Manitoba Hydro system to store intermittent wind generation during times when energy markets don't need it. This is important to Minnesota Power as we expand our Bison wind project to 500 MW in North Dakota by the end of this year."