Great River Energy proposes to rebuild an existing 9.25-mile 69-kV transmission line located in McLeod and Sibley counties. This rebuild is necessary to improve the reliability of the transmission system in the area, and reduce risks associated with low voltage and transmission line overloading.

The existing transmission line extends from McLeod Cooperative Power Association’s Winthrop Substation located in Section 30 in Penn Township to an existing Great River Energy switch structure located in Section 1 in Cornish Township. Much of the line is currently located within the east State Highway (Highway) 15 right-of-way (ROW) and is proposed to be removed and rebuilt on private property, which would be 3 to 5 feet outside of the edge of the road right of way. As the edge of the east Highway 15 ROW is congested with underground utilities, the transmission line is proposed to be rebuilt primarily on the west side of Highway 15. In addition, the existing section of line that is within the City of Winthrop is proposed to be relocated to the west side of Highway 15.

The transmission line generally requires a 70-foot wide easement, being 35 feet on each side of the transmission centerline. Wood poles will be primarily used, steel and/or laminate poles may be needed in some locations based on engineering design needs. Poles will be placed to not interfere with agricultural land uses to the extent possible.
In areas where tall-growing vegetation exists, it will be necessary to remove the vegetation within the easement area for the safe operation and maintenance of the line, which will be discussed with landowners during easement negotiations.

View Fact Sheet & Map

Quick facts

Length: 9.25 miles
Voltage: 69-kV
Structures: Primarily wood poles with laminate and/or steel structures in some areas.
Spans: 325 to 375 feet apart
Right of way: 70-foot-wide right of way being 35 feet on each side of the centerline.

Virtual open house

Great River Energy held a virtual open house on Sept. 16, 2021.



Spring - Fall 2022


Spring 2023 - Spring 2024



Permitting/ environmental approvals

Prior to any permitting, Great River Energy will hold a virtual open house to share additional project information with landowners in the project vicinity, local government officials and other permit authorities. Local project approval will be required by McLeod and Sibley counties for the respective section of line in each county. Additional permits from road authorities, environmental agencies and other utilities will begin once the project has local approval and preliminary design is complete.

Project contacts

Michelle Lommel
Senior Field Representative

Tosha Barthel, Transmission Permitting Specialist
Transmission Permitting and Compliance

Media contacts

Jennifer Mattson
Twitter: @jennymmattson

Lori Buffington 
Twitter: @lbuffing