Great River Energy applies for 115-kV Bull Moose transmission project in Minnesota

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Great River Energy on Aug. 7 filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission a route permit application for the proposed 115-kV Bull Moose transmission line project in central Minnesota.

In its application, Great River Energy requested an alternative review process, which provides for an expedited approval process and does not require submission of alternative routes or an environmental impact statement.

The proposed project is located entirely in Cass County, Minn., about four miles southwest of Backus, Minn., according to the application.

Great River Energy said that the proposed project is needed to provide power to a new petroleum pump station, called the Backus Station, proposed by Enbridge Energy Partners.

According to the application, Enbridge in April filed with the PUC a certificate of need and route permit application for its Line 3 Replacement project, which is a maintenance- and integrity-driven pipeline project designed to replace Enbridge’s existing Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota.

The replacement pipeline will follow the Enbridge mainline system from the North Dakota/Minnesota border in Kittson County, Minn., and rejoin the Enbridge mainline corridor to follow its mainline system to the Wisconsin/Minnesota border in Carlton County, Minn.

Great River Energy said that Enbridge has requested that Great River Energy, in partnership with its member retail distribution cooperatives, provide electric service to four pump stations associated with the L3R project, including the Backus pump station near Backus in Cass County.

As TransmissionHub reported, Great River Energy in July notified the PUC that it will seek local approval to build the seven-mile, 115-kV Clover to Potato Lake transmission line project to provide power to Enbridge’s proposed pump station in Two Inlets Township in Becker County, Minn.

In its Aug. 7 route permit application, Great River Energy proposed construction of about 2.5 miles of new overhead 115-kV transmission line between Minnesota Power’s existing 115-kV Badoura to Pine River transmission line and a proposed substation at Enbridge’s pump station in Backus.

Great River Energy said it would use single-pole wood structures with horizontal post insulators for most of the transmission line, and H-frame, three-pole structures, laminated wood poles or steel poles for crossing under existing lines, for angles poles, or in areas where soil conditions are poor and guying is not practical.

Typical pole heights will range from 70 feet to 80 feet above ground, and spans between poles will range from 350 feet to 400 feet. In addition, Great River Energy requested approval of a 200-foot route width for the transmission line and a 400-foot route width near the proposed Enbridge Backus substation.

The proposed line will interconnect with the Badoura to Pine River transmission line and head northeast for about 0.25 miles to an existing ±250-kV DC transmission line owned by Minnesota Power. From there, the line will head east, paralleling the DC line for about 2.25 miles, and cross under the DC line to terminate at the proposed Backus substation.

Great River Energy estimated that the project will cost about $2.1 million.

According to the application, Great River Energy plans to begin construction on the project in 2017 if Enbridge has secured all permits related to the L3R project. Great River Energy estimated that construction will take about four months, and that the entire project will be energized in spring 2017.

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