Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line reaches Milestone

An administrative law judge has recommended approval of a route permit for Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line.  

The project is designed to bring renewable hydroelectricity from Canada to Minnesota Power customers in northeastern Minnesota. 

Administrative Law Judge Ann C. O’Reilly issued her findings of fact, conclusions and route recommendation for the project on January 4. 

O’Reilly recommended that a permit be issued for a route that largely follows Minnesota Power’s preferred Blue Route, including the international border crossing. 

The judge also recommended the Effire Variation, a route option preferred by landowners as an alternative.  This option was thoroughly reviewed in the Final Environment Impact Statement. 

Despite her recommendation, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission still has final authority over the eventual route.  A decision is expected by March of 2016. 

Once the MPUC makes it’s decision, the United States Department of Energy will decide on granting a Presidential Permit. 

That permit will allow Minnesota Power to construct, operate and maintain the Great Northern Transmission Line, which would cross the Canadian-U.S. border. 

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