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Notice of Filing for the Great Northern Transmission Line Route Permit Application (0430)

Minnesota Power submitted an Application for a Route Permit for the Great Northern Transmission Line Project (Project) to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  Notice of this filing is being made pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 216E.03, subd. 4 and Minn. Rules 7850.2100.  You are receiving this notice because our records indicate you have property in the proposed Project area, you are part of the MPUC’s notification list, or you are local government unit. The information below and the enclosed handout provide additional information regarding the Project.

Minnesota Power proposes to construct the Great Northern Transmission Line, a 220 mile 500 kilovolt (kV) alternating current transmission line between the Minnesota-Manitoba border crossing northwest of Roseau, Minnesota and the existing Blackberry Substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, as well as associated substation facilities and transmission system modifications at the Blackberry Substation site, and a 500 kV series compensation station. The new substation facilities required for the Project (Blackberry 500 kV Substation) will be constructed adjacent to and east of the existing Blackberry 230/115 kV Substation. The line is expected to carry at least 750 MW to facilitate agreements and transmission service requests between Minnesota Power and Manitoba Hydro plus exports and transmission service requests by Manitoba Hydro to other utilities. 

Since January 2012, Minnesota Power has been actively developing the Project through extensive voluntary outreach, including numerous meetings with landowners, federal, state, and local agencies and other invited stakeholders such as tribal governments and non-governmental organizations.  A Certificate of Need (CN) is also required for the Project; Minnesota Power initiated MPUC approval through submittal of the CN application, which the MPUC deemed complete in an order dated January 8, 2014.  MPUC Docket No. E015/CN-12-1163.  In conjunction with this Route Permit Application, Minnesota Power submitted a Presidential Permit Application with the U.S. Department of Energy because this Project crosses an international border. 

The Route Permit Application can be viewed or downloaded from the following locations:

  • Project website at
  • MPUC website at

  • Docket Year 2014
  • Number 14-21


The Route Permit Application will be considered by the MPUC under the provisions of Minnesota Rules Parts 7850.1000 to 7850.5600 and the Power Plant Siting Act (Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216E). The MPUC will hold a public meeting within 60 days of this filing; the date of the meeting has not been determined. Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Environmental Review & Analysis (DOC EERA) will conduct the environmental review for the Project, consisting of scoping to determine the alternatives and issues to be considered and development/publication of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Public hearings will be held after the EIS is prepared. State contacts include:


MPUC Public Advisor:

Tracy Smetana

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

121 E 7th Place East, Suite 350
St Paul, MN 55101


Phone: 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782


MPUC Energy Facilities Planning

Mike Kaluzniak,

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

121 E 7th Place East, Suite 350

St Paul, MN 55101


Phone: 651-201-2257


DOC Environmental Review Manager:

Bill Storm

            Minnesota Department of Commerce

            85 7th Place East, Suite 500

            St. Paul MN  55101


            Phone: 651-539-1844


Interested persons may contact the MPUC or DOC EERA directly to be added to the project contact list, or can sign up on the MPUC website listed above.


Minnesota Power anticipates that the environmental review process will be completed by fall 2015, with formal MPUC approval of the selected route. The Route Permit will give Minnesota Power the ability to exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire the land necessary for the Project pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 117.

Minnesota Power looks forward to continuing active engagement for the Great Northern Transmission Line with the state and federal agencies, stakeholders and landowners.  Please contact me via email ( ) or phone (218.355.3561 ) if you have any questions or need additional information.

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