Partners start outreach on transmission rebuild project

Great River Energy and Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) are planning to re-build approximately 38 miles of power lines in Big Stone and Stevens counties in Minnesota. The utilities co-hosted two public information open houses to share details about the re-build project, answer questions and listen to feedback in August.

The project is needed to accommodate additional wind generation connecting to the region’s transmission system. It involves rebuilding 24 miles of MRES-owned 115-kilovolt (kV) H-frame wood structures and 14 miles of Great River Energy-owned 115 kV H-frame wood structures.

MRES asked Great River Energy to design, procure and build the line based on the cooperative’s superior maintenance and operations work over the last several years.

The proposed project will help increase capacity on the transmission lines to deliver power and improve system reliability. A recent study completed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator revealed the existing transmission line conductors have inadequate capacity to deliver additional power generated by wind and solar projects anticipated to be added in the area.

“We want landowners to be informed about the project and have an opportunity to ask questions and share their feedback,” said Great River Energy Senior Field Representative Rick Heuring. “We will contact each affected property owner to discuss the project. Construction of the rebuild is expected to occur in 2021.”