After the need for a new transmission line project is established, Great River Energy begins looking at the area to determine possible routes the line could follow and gathers input from landowners, the public, state and federal agencies and communities. We follow a thorough process for routing transmission lines, using the same set of routing criteria used by the state of Minnesota as a guide for considering routing options.

View our routing criteria fact sheet

Who develops potential routes for a new power line?

A team that includes land rights, environmental resources, construction, engineering, and representatives of local electric cooperatives, works together to identify possible routes. Input from local residents, landowners, state and federal agencies and communities is gathered and considered during the process.

What factors are considered?

We use the state of Minnesota’s routing criteria as a guide for considering routing options. Social, environmental and engineering factors are carefully considered. Goals include:

  • Using existing corridors (such as along highways, railroads, pipelines or other power lines) as much as possible
  • Minimizing, as much as possible, effects on human settlement, agriculture, forestry, mining, natural systems, wildlife and recreation, public or culturally significant lands and water
  • Providing a safe, reliable transmission line at a reasonable cost
  • Maintaining compatibility with future plans

How can I share my thoughts about where I think the transmission line should be routed?

You may be contacted for input, or public meetings may be held to answer questions, encourage public discussion and get input on proposed routes. If you are invited to a public meeting in your area, it is important that you attend or contact Great River Energy directly if you have feedback.

Who decides which route to choose?

For projects following the state of Minnesota’s process, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, after receiving extensive public input, makes the final decision on where the line will be constructed. Other projects follow the permitting processes set by local government units.

Visit the Minnesota PUC website

Learn more about permitting considerations