Public open houses for the Northland Reliability Project recently concluded after 14 meetings were held in seven different Minnesota cities from Grand Rapids to Becker. The meetings were held throughout the project’s study area to provide the public with information about Great River Energy, Minnesota Power and the project that the companies are jointly building.
The Northland Reliability Project is a double-circuit, 345-kilovolt transmission line that will span approximately 150 miles from northern Minnesota near Grand Rapids to central Minnesota near Becker and support grid reliability in the Upper Midwest. It is estimated to cost $970 million.
More than 250 people attended the open houses to learn more about the project and provide input on the route. Attendees were led by a tour guide who took them through a series of stations explaining different aspects of the project such as project need, route corridor, route development process, schedule and maps. A key aspect of the open houses was to address questions and comments on the project and solicit feedback on route development.
The project team is now meeting with county officials along the proposed route.
“We had a great turnout at the open houses and everyone was very interested in the project,” said Dan Lesher, manager of transmission planning and land rights at Great River Energy. “The feedback we received from the public will help us narrow down our route and route alternatives.”
The project team will seek opportunities to route the line along existing corridors using land already being used for power lines when it makes sense. A certificate of need and route permit application will be submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in the fourth quarter of 2023. The PUC will then determine the final route. Subject to regulatory approvals, the transmission line is estimated to be in service by 2030.
Those that missed the open houses can learn more about the project anytime at northlandreliabilityproject.com.