Category Archives: Transmission

Co-ops restore power to thousands after blizzard

While the blizzard that hit Minnesota the night before Christmas Eve did little to damage Great River Energy’s transmission system, transmission partners that serve its member-owner cooperatives were not as lucky. “The blizzard caused damage to transmission facilities owned by other utilities, which left 11 of our members’ substations without power for sustained periods,” said […]

Drones pull the ropes

An unmanned aircraft system (UAS)—or drone—was needed to safely complete recent work on a transmission line project led by Great River Energy for one of its member-owner cooperatives. A portion of the Elisha to Pine Point project required crossing Hay Creek near Park Rapids, Minnesota. This vegetative wetland is hard to travel by foot and […]

North Dakota service center supports grid reliability

Service centers are strategically located throughout Great River Energy’s service territory to ensure the reliability of the electric grid. Construction is in its final stages for one such service center, which is located hundreds of miles from the cooperative’s membership but plays a critical role in keeping electricity reliable in Minnesota. “Our North Dakota service […]

Great River Energy analyzes future of unique transmission system

The announcement that Great River Energy will close the Coal Creek Station power plant in the last half of 2022 led to in-depth analysis of how the cooperative’s high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) transmission system will be used after the plant closes. The HVDC system, which is made up of a 436-mile transmission line and two converter […]

Recognizing lineworkers during the pandemic

They set out in the dead of night and the cold of winter to restore power. They climb poles, work from bucket trucks and drive to remote locations to keep electricity flowing to your home. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, these technicians perform critical work to ensure reliability and public safety. Line technicians were recognized […]

Substation cleaned of ashes, soot following Northern Metals fire

When black smoke settled over the Northern Metals facility in Becker, Minnesota, the smog hovered for almost a week. Nearby, Great River Energy’s Liberty Substation was so covered in smog that employees couldn’t perform a visual inspection of the substation equipment due to health concerns. Most of the substation had to be de-energized as a […]

CapX2020 report outlines transmission grid challenges

Great River Energy and the nine other utilities that make up the CapX2020 organization convened last August to discuss a study that would examine how the changing generation resource mix will impact transmission system operations and reliability. After months of collaboration and analysis, they recently issued the CapX2050 Transmission Vision Report. The report identifies the […]

Could a planned blackout happen here?

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) made strategic and unprecedented decisions last month to temporarily shut off power to large swaths of its California customers to avoid a potential wildfire disaster due to high wind conditions. Schools closed, people scrambled to purchase supplies, patients in need of medical care were forced to evacuate, homes went […]

Utilities launch transmission grid study

The CapX2020 utilities have announced their plan to study the transmission system that serves the Upper Midwest to identify system improvements and infrastructure upgrades that may be needed to achieve the ambitious 2050 carbon reduction goals established or proposed by utilities and policymakers. The CapX2050 Transmission Vision Study will look at maintaining a safe, reliable […]