Appleton to Benson 115-kV transmission line - Great River Energy

Appleton to Benson 115-kV transmission line

Great River Energy, Otter Tail Power Company, Missouri River Energy Services, Benson Municipal Utilities and Agralite Electric Cooperative are proposing to construct an approximately 28-mile, 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line between Appleton and Benson, Minn. A Certificate of Need and Route Permit will be required from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) before the line can be built.

The project will address low voltage concerns and enhance transmission reliability in the project area.

Approximately 20 miles of the proposed route will overtake and replace an existing 41.6-kV transmission line with the new 115-kV transmission line.

The new transmission line will be constructed primarily with wood poles, 60 to 90 feet above ground, generally 300 to 400 feet apart. Line angles and changes in direction might require the support of guy wires and anchors or steel poles on concrete foundations. A final design will determine the span distances and need for specialty poles.

Permits and Approvals

  • Permitting and public involvement: The MPUC is the permitting authority for this project. The MPUC and the Department of Commerce – Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (DOC-EERA) will hold public meetings to receive comments and suggestions. Additional opportunities to provide input will be available throughout the permitting and analysis process. DOC-EERA will prepare an environmental assessment for the project.
  • Easements: Property owners will be contacted by a project representative during the MPUC permitting process to begin the easement acquisition process. New or amended easements may be requested to provide adequate land rights for construction, operation, and maintenance of the new line. Easement negotiations will include a copy of the route permit, proposed pole locations, and review of the easement and compensation arrangements, along with information on tree removal, construction access, crop damage payments, and restoration of the right of way.
Quick facts
  • Length: Approximately 28 miles
  • Voltage: 115-kV
  • Structures: 60- to 90-foot-tall wood poles
  • Spans: 300 to 400 feet apart
  • Right of way: 100-foot-wide right of way (50 feet on each side of the centerline)
  • MPUC Permitting
    Q4 2024 – Q1 2027
  • Easements
    Q1 2027 – Q2 2028
  • Environmental permits
    Q3 2026 – Q4 2028
  • Transmission line construction
    Q4 2028 – Q4 2029
Project Contacts
Dale Aukee
Great River Energy
Phone: 612-840-4019
Mark Strohfus
Great River Energy
Phone: 763-445-5210
Media Contacts
Heather Reinhart
Phone: 763-445-5722