To increase the load serving capability of the existing transmission system between Audubon and Rush Lake in west central Minnesota, Great River Energy and Otter Tail Power Company, in collaboration with other neighboring utilities propose to construct a new 115-kV transmission line and rebuild a portion of the 41.6-kV transmission system in Becker and Otter Tail counties. This project will reduce risks associated with low-voltage and transmission line overloading and ensure continued reliable service to customers in the future.

The proposed project will include constructing a 230/115-kV substation called Erie along the existing Audubon to Hubbard 230-kV line, in Section 31 of Height of Land Township, and a 115-kV transmission line from Erie to Great River Energy’s existing Frazee Substation in Section 35 of Burlington Township.

Specifically, the project will entail:

• Otter Tail Power constructing and owning the new 230/115-kV Erie Substation to connect to the existing Xcel Energy 230-kV line.
• Great River Energy installing and owning new transmission equipment at the Frazee Substation.
• Great River Energy constructing and owning approximately 9.4 miles of 115-kV transmission line, with some distribution underbuild, between the Erie and Frazee substations. Approximately 2.4 miles will be double circuit with existing 41.6-kV line.
• Otter Tail Power relocating an approximate 0.5-mile long 115-kV transmission line, within an existing 41.6-kV line corridor that connects to the Frazee Substation.

View Fact Sheet & Map

Quick facts

Transmission line length: 9.9 miles (includes 0.5-mile relocation)
Voltage: 41.6 kV and 115 kV  
Structures: 60 to 90-foot tall wood or steel poles
Length: 300 to 400 feet apart
Right-of-way width: 100-foot-wide right of way, 50 feet on each side of the centerline
Permits: MN Public Utilities Commission route permit

Open house

Representatives of Great River Energy and Otter Tail Power Company will host an open house from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Feb 13 at the Frazee Event Center (114 North Lake Street, Frazee, Minnesota). No formal presentation will be given. Attendees are encouraged to come anytime during the hours indicated.

Schedule

Easements

Spring 2021 - Spring 2022

Construction

Fall 2022 - Spring 2023

Other Info

In service spring 2023


Permitting/ environmental approvals

Great River Energy and Otter Tail Power will submit a route permit application for the proposed project to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). During the route permit process, the public and regulatory agencies will have numerous opportunities to provide input on the proposed project, including public meetings facilitated by the PUC and Department of Commerce Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (DOC EERA) staff. The DOC EERA will prepare an environmental assessment for the project. Construction cannot begin until an approved route permit is granted by the PUC.

Project contacts

Peter M. Schaub, Sr. Field Representative, Land Rights
Great River Energy
(763) 445-5976
pschaub@grenergy.com

Todd Langston, Manager, Transmission Construction and Maintenance
Otter Tail Power Company
(218)739-8679
tlangston@otpco.com

Dan Lesher Leader, Transmission Permitting and Compliance
Great River Energy
763-445-5975
dlesher@grenergy.com

Media contacts

Jennifer Mattson
jmattson@grenergy.com
763-445-5722
Twitter: @jennymmattson

Lori Buffington
lbuffington@grenergy.com
763-445-5714
Twitter: @lbuffing