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Canada-US Transmission Line Wins Approval

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Canada’s natural resources minister approved Manitoba Hydro’s $453-million Manitoba-Minnesota transmission project.

Manitoba Hydro generates more electricity than it uses and plans to sell the surplus to Minnesota.

The project will consist of the Dorsey Interprovincial Power Line and modifications to two existing transmission lines.

The Dorsey IPL is a 213-kilometer, 500-kilovolt power line that would extend from the northwest of Winnipeg to Minnesota, crossing the Canada-United States border near Piney, Man. There it would connect with Great Northern Transmission Line that will be constructed by Minnesota Power. It will terminate at Iron Range Station west of Duluth.

The right-of-way required for the transmission line in Manitoba depends on the design of the tower structures. Towers will be mostly guyed and self-supported and will typically range in height from 40 to 60 meters. Spacing between towers will 400 to 500 meters on average.

Self-supporting steel lattice towers will be used in crop lands to minimize impact on agricultural operations. Right-of-way width will be 80 meters for these towers.

Guyed steel towers will be used in non-cultivated lands. Right-of-way width will be 100 meters for these towers. Conductor-to-ground distances at maximum loading will meet the Canadian Standards Association standard for minimum ground clearance of transmission lines.

The Canadian government’s project approval is subject to 64 Manitoba license conditions and 28 National Energy Board conditions. The conditions are intended to ensure safe construction and operations, environmental protections and ongoing engagement with Indigenous groups.

Project plans have drawn objections from Indigenous groups in Manitoba, who say their concerns about it haven't been listened to.

Because the project would be located in Manitoba but would cross an international border, Manitoba Hydro required a Class 3 License under Manitoba's Environment Act, as well as a permit under Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) Act.

Following an assessment by the Manitoba Public Utilities Board and an environmental assessment by Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, the Manitoba Minister of Sustainable Development issued a Class 3 License approved the project in April subject to conditions.

The Project was also subject to review by the National Energy Board. In November  2018, the NEB issued its Reasons for Decision approving the project, also subject to conditions.

DW Keefer's picture

Thank DW for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 28, 2019 4:03 pm GMT

This is a great win-win to spread some clean energy, foster cooperation between the entities, and create a bright future. I am concerned about the indigenous people who say their worries weren't addressed, so hopefully in actual practice their concerns will be taken into account with the design. 

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