High volatage power lines above a rural landscape

Transmission Lines

Under the Power Plant Siting Act (Minnesota Statute 216E), a route permit from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) is required to construct and operate a high voltage transmission line (HVTL).  An HVTL is a transmission line and associated facilities capable of operating at 100 kilovolts or more.  The rules for the administration of transmission line route permits are found at Minnesota Rules Chapter 7850.

Open Projects

Open projects are projects currently in the permitting process. They are listed here chronologically, most recent projects first. To see all projects or to search for a project by location or type, see the project database

Docket Number Project Name Description
14-665
Minnkota Power is planning a new 115 kV transmission line and new 115/41.6 substation in Clearwater County
14-21
Minnesota Power, in partnership with Manitoba Hydro, proposes to construct a 500 kV high voltage transmission line (HVTL) from the International border that would terminate at the Blackberry Substation in Itasca County
13-591
Odell Wind Farm, LLC is proposing to construct 9.5 miles of 115 kV transmission line to transmit energy generated at the planned 200 MW Odell Wind Farm to the Woad Hill Substation
12-1163
Minnesota Power hereby applies to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a Certificate of Need to construct the Great Northern Transmission Line
13-805
Minnesota Power proposes to construct two, approximately five-mile, 115 kV HVTLs and a substation near Coleraine, Minnesota. The two transmission lines, each 5.2 miles in length, would be constructed parallel to one another with an overlapping ROW of 160 feet.
13-68
Minnesota Power proposes to construct approximately one mile of new 115 kV transmission line, approximately 0.3 miles of new 230 kV transmission line, and a replacement substation east of the city of Deer River in Itasca County. The Deer River Transmission Project would also rebuild approximately 0.9 miles of an existing 115 kV transmission line, and remove approximately 7.5 miles of existing 115 kV transmission line
12-1337
ITC Midwest, LLC (ITCM) proposes to construct a new 345 kV transmission line in Jackson, Martin, and Faribault County; to reroute several existing 161 kV lines; and to construct a new substation near the cities of Winnebago and Blue Earth.
12-1151
Xcel Energy proposes to replace an existing 115 kV transmission line with a new, double circuit 115 kV transmission line and to modify two existing substations in northeast Ramsey County
12-1245
Great River Energy proposes to rebuild a portion of the existing 69 kV transmission system and construct a new double-circuit 115 kV transmission line in Scott and Rice counties
12-1123
Minnesota Power proposes to construct a new, approximately 2.8-mile-long 115 kV HVTL from MP's existing 39 line in the city of Eveleth to MP's existing 37 line northwest of the city of Leonidas
12-401
Xcel Energy proposes to upgrade the Chaska Area 69 kV transmission line to 115 kV capacity in in eastern Carver County and northern Scott County near and within the City of Chaska, and through Laketown, Dahlgren, and Jackson townships
12-113
The proposed project is intended to meet electrical needs in the Plymouth and Medina area. The proposal involves constructing a new substation, expanding another substation, and connecting the two substations with a 115 kilovolt transmission line.
11-948
Xcel Energy proposes to upgrade the Scott-County-Bluff Creek-Westgate 69 kV transmission line to 115 kV capacity near the cities of Chanhassen, Shorewood, Excelsior, Deephaven, Greenwood, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie,
11-915
Great River Energy and Minnesota Municipal Power Agency propose to construct a new 5.8-mile 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line to serve Anoka Municipal Utilities� existing Enterprise Park Substation. The Project will also require modifications to Xcel Energy�s existing Crooked Lake Substation and the addition of a 115-kV transformer at AMU�s Enterprise Park Substation.
11-800
Northern States Power Company (dba Xcel Energy), on behalf of CapX 2020 co-owners, has submitted a route permit application for a 30-mile, 161-kilovolt transmission line from the proposed North Rochester substation near Pine Island and Zumbrota, Minn., to the existing Chester substation east of Rochester, Minn
11-152
Xcel Energy and Great River Energy (GRE) propose removing approximately eight miles of an existing GRE-owned 69 kilovolt (kV) overhead transmission line and constructing a new 115 kV overhead transmission in its place, constructing an additional eight-tenths of a mile of new 115 kV overhead transmission line, constructing a new substation, and modifying associated transmission facilities in the cities of Medina and Plymouth, Hennepin County, Minnesota
09-1390
Certificate of Need: Approximately 2.8 miles of new 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and upgrade approximately 20.2 miles of 69 kV transmission line to 115 kV capacity (approximately 23 miles total) near the cities of Glencoe, Plato, Norwood Young America and Waconia located southwest of the Twin Cities metro area
10-249
Approximately 2.8 miles of new 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and upgrade approximately 20.2 miles of 69 kV transmission line to 115 kV capacity (approximately 23 miles total) near the cities of Glencoe, Plato, Norwood Young America and Waconia located southwest of the Twin Cities metro area
09-1448
Xcel Energy Application to construct a new 345 kV and a new 161kV transmission line from the Hampton Substation, through Rochester, to a proposed substation in La Crosse, Wis
09-1056
Xcel Energy and GRE Application to construct a new 345 kV HVTL between the new Quarry Substation near St. Cloud and a proposed Bison Substation in North Dakota
09-512
NPUC proposes to construct four 230 kV transmission lines and two 230 kV substations to supply electric power to the Essar Steel Minnesota project
09-38
The Hiawatha Project was designed to address the distribution system problems that exist in south Minneapolis. The Project consists of two new 115/13.8 kV distribution substations equipped with smart substation technologies, two 115 kV transmission lines and two new taps of the existing Elliot Park Southtown 115 kV transmission line
08-1474
Proposed 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated facilities running from Brookings County, South Dakota, to Hampton, Minnesota
Minor Alterations to Transmission Lines or Large Electric Power Generating Plants
A utility seeking a route permit for a transmission line that meets certain qualifications may elect to seek approval from a local unit of government. If local review is elected, a permit from the PUC is not required. This docket contains local review projects
Annual Hearing for the Energy Facility Permitting program

Full Review

For the full review permitting process, an applicant must identify in its application a preferred route for the transmission line and one alternative route.  As part of the permitting process, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Facility Permitting unit prepares an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the project, and a contested case hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge.  The Commission has up to one year from the time the application is accepted to complete the process and make a decision on the permit.  Minn. Rules 7850 | Full Review Flowchart.   

Alternative Review

An alternative review permitting process is available for certain smaller transmission lines identified in Minnesota Statute 216E.04.  For the alternative review process, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Facility Permitting unit prepares an environmental assessment (EA) for the project, and a public hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge.  The Commission has up to six months from the time the application is accepted to complete the process and make a decision on the permit.  Minn. Rules 7850 | Alternative Review Flowchart.   

Local Review

For certain projects, the applicant can elect to seek authorization from local units of government rather than from the Commission. Qualifying projects are identified in Minnesota Statute 216E.05Minn. Rules 7850.5300 | Local Review Fact Sheet.

Certificate of Need

A certificate of need from the Commission is required for a proposed HVTL that is a large energy facility per Minnesota Statute 216B.2421.  If a certificate of need is required, it must be issued prior to the route permit for the project (Minnesota Statute 216B.243).

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