Center to Grand Forks Transmission Line

Route Permit Application Map

A route map for the project from the developers. More detailed maps are available here.

Stated Purpose:

Minnkota is proposing the Center to Grand Forks Transmission Line in order to address grid reliability and meet long-term load growth needs. The project will help improve voltage support in the Red River Valley region.

By freeing an already existing power line, this project will indirectly help support wind development in North Dakota.

Line Capacity:

345 kV

Route Description:

The lines will carry electricity from the Milton R. Young station near Center and will extend 247 miles to Grand Forks, North Dakota. Hearings held during the months of February and March 2012 will help determine the final route.

Development Timeline:

Construction of the line began in May of 2012. The project was completed in late July of 2014.

Regulatory Process:

Minnkota is required to comply with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), as part of seeking financing from the USDA Rural Development's Electric Program. Most recently the Environmental Assessment Comment Report for the project was published in March of 2011.

Minnkota will also follow the North Dakota Regulatory Process by applying for a Certificate of Corridor Compatibility and a Route Permit from the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC). The Certificate of Corridor Compatibility was awarded in September 2011, effectively determining the line's general location. The Route Permit was approved in April of 2012.

Developer:

Minnkota Power

Community Feedback:

Minnkota is working to engage landowners and communities through public meetings, and stakeholders continue to have questions and concerns about the specific actions Minnkota will take in order to secure right-of-ways (ROW) and easements.

Specific concerns include the size of easements, as well as methods of compensation for landowners. Others are concerned that not all environmental threats have been mitigated, especially this line's impact on wildlife habitat.

Clean Energy Potential:

Minnkota has agreed to sell an existing transmission line to a wind energy developer, enabling energy from the proposed Minnesota Power wind energy facilities to be transmitted to areas of higher demand.

While the Center to Grand Forks line is being built in order to provide capacity lost as a result of that sale, with this additional capacity will be used solely for coal energy.

News Archive:

Hoeven: Minnkota's new transmission line will help power future of growing Red River Valley August 20, 2014

Sen. Hoeven hails 250-mile transmission line as benchmark August 19, 2014

250-mile transmission line to Grand Forks completed August 3, 2014

Work on $350M power line project in ND to resume April 24, 2014

Tough winter delays ND power line project March 3, 2014

Work continues on Center-to-Grand Forks power line November 17, 2012

North Dakota crew camp goes mobile for power line September 28, 2012

Work begins on Minnkota line May 16, 2012

Route Permit Issued for Center to Grand Forks May 2, 2012

Powerline to Grand Forks scrutinized still February 27, 2012

Hearings scheduled for on ND power line projects January 18, 2012

Minnesota buys Minnkota line for wind September 8, 2011

Land corridor approved for $300M ND power line September 7, 2011

State, county approve power corridor September 7, 2011

Proposed Minnkota power line route upsets birdwatchers June 27, 2011

Concerns over proposed Minnkota transmission line June 16, 2011

Minnkota planning new transmission line June 16, 2011

On the Line Newsletter, Issue 2 - June 2011

'Saudi Arabia of wind' has trouble figuring out how to get the power out April 5, 2011

On the Line Newsletter, Issue 1 - March 2011

Your Thoughts:

We all know that clean energy transmission is vitally important to our energy future. It brings economic opportunity to rural areas, enables wind development and improves the reliability of your grid. But to build it properly - to create projects that work best for you and your community - requires your knowledge and participation. That's why we've created this database.

Is there a way we can improve? Any changes that would make this a more effective tool? Alternatively, do you have more questions about this line? Would you like to receive email updates? Send an email to johnathanh@cfra.org and let us know!

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