Whether we are following a local or state permitting process, Great River Energy follows a thorough process for routing transmission lines, using the same set of routing criteria used by the state of Minnesota as a guide for considering routing options. After the need for a new transmission line project is established, Great River Energy begins looking at the area to determine possible routes the line could follow and gathers input from landowners, the public, state and federal agencies and communities.

View our routing criteria fact sheet

Who develops potential routes for a new power line?

A team that includes land rights, environmental resources, construction, engineering, and representatives of local electric cooperatives works together to identify possible routes. Input from local residents, landowners, state and federal agencies and communities is gathered and considered during the process.

What factors are considered?

Great River Energy uses the same set of routing criteria used by the state of Minnesota as a guide for considering routing options. Social, environmental and engineering factors are carefully considered. Goals include:

  • Using existing corridors (such as along highways, railroads, pipelines or other power lines) as much as possible
  • Minimizing, as much as possible, effects on human settlement, agriculture, forestry, mining, natural systems, wildlife and recreation, public or culturally significant lands and water
  • Providing a safe, reliable transmission line at a reasonable cost
  • Maintaining compatibility with future plans

How can I share my thoughts about where I think the transmission line should be routed?

You may be contacted for input, or public meetings may be held to answer questions, encourage public discussion and get input on proposed routes. If you are invited to a public meeting in your area, it important that you attend or contact Great River Energy directly if you have feedback that you would like to share.

Who decides which route to choose?

For projects that are permitted through the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission makes the final decision on where the line will be built, after receiving extensive public input. Other projects follow the permitting processes set by local governmental units. Learn more about permitting considerations and the state of Minnesota’s permitting process.