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.
Great River Energy hosted a virtual open house on Sept. 16, 2021. The recording of the meeting is below.