Monthly Archives: November 2012

Notice Plan – “Not-so-Great” Northern Transmission Line


Today Comments were due on Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to call a transmission line “Great” and that’s just how it is…  Anyway, Minnesota Power is getting ready to file a Certificate of Need application, this is the lead up, what they have to do to provide notice to people when they actually file.  So here’s their draft plan:

Minnesota Power’s Notice Plan for Great Northern Transmission Line

Comments on that plan were due today.  Here’s what I filed:

Overland’s Notice Plan Comments, November 19, 2012

Here’s what Commerce filed earlier today:

MOES Comment – GNTL Notice Plan


Haven’t gotten word on any others.

To keep an eye on what’s going on in this docket, go HERE and search for docket 12-1163.

A little sidebar here — while looking for a logo, some things popped out — did you know that Minnesota Power sponsors, with the Lignite Energy Council, a “Teachers Seminar” on coal?  It’s the only teacher workshop listed, though there are multiple listings under “School Programs” and “Educational Materials.”

Lignite Education Seminar

OH MY!  Check their “Electricity 101” pdf:

Electricity 101

p. 7:

1929—Stock market crash revealed that many holding companies were over-leveraged

–As a result, federal and state governments strengthened utility regulation.

There are some interesting charts and graphs in Electricity 101 that are interesting and that I’d like to see updated.  Hear that, MP!?!?!


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Not-So-Great Northern Transmission


Got that?  NO hockey sticks in the hotel!

Yesterday, both meetings, in Hermantown and in Grand Rapids, were well attended.  The Hermantown municipal building is new, nothing like that was there last time I was in town, it’s been a while.  Very nice building, wonder if Minnesota Power’s Arrowhead transmission line had anything to do with that?


Here are copies of what I’ve been handing out:

Handout – November GNTL Meetings

Notice Plan Comment Form – click to download editable form

Notice Plan Comments are due November 19, 2012, and Reply Comments due December 10, 2012.  Send to, with “Great Northern Notice Plan Comments – Docket 12-1163” in subject line.

Minnesota Power’s Notice Plan for Great Northern Transmission Line


I’ve been looking for the studies that support this line, made some progress, but not enough, MISO has a page on the Northern Area Study.  Here’s the kind of map I find interesting, one that shows the flows and areas where they want more, from 20120921 Northern Area Study Transmission Design:


Here are the docs listed (hey MISO, don’t bother deleting them, I’ve got them saved…):

Northern Area Study TRG
20121102 Northern Area Study TRG Agenda
20121102 Northern Area Study Presentation
20120921 Northern Area Study Transmission Design
20120921 Northern Area Study Presentation
20120921 Northern Area Study FULL RESULTS
20120921 Northern Area Study Economic Factors
20120921 Northern Area Study Agenda
20120801 Northern Area Study Scope
20120711 Northern Area Study Presentation Scope Follow-up
20120607 Northern Area Study TRG Presentation
20120607 Northern Area Study TRG Agenda

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Filed under Open Houses, PUC Filings

Transmission on the Range!

Posted previously on on November 4, 2012:


It never ends.  Last week, open house meetings began for Minnesota Power’s recently announced Great Northern Transmission Line.

Great Northern Transmission Line meetings this week

Great Northern?  I guess we’re either being railroaded or being sold beans…

 locomotive_great_northern_railway_us i-beans-grnorth

Wednesday, November 7th

11:00 am – 1pm

Hermantown Government Services Building, Training Center Room
5105 Maple Grove Road
Hermantown, MN 55811


5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Sawmill Inn
2301 South Highway 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Thursday, November 8th

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Hibbing Memorial Building Arena, Downstairs Dining Room
400 East 23rd Street
Hibbing, MN 55746

5:00 – 7:00 pm

Meadowlands Community Center
7758 Western Avenue
Meadowlands, MN 55765

I have a few questions, of course, that’s my job, but first, in Minnesota, transmission corridors are to be used, routes that don’t utilize existing corridors.  From an old EQB transmission map, here’s what I’ve got in that general area:


And from an old MAPP map, between Blackberry and Hermantown, two named substations that this line will connect:


Again, this is an old map, and some things have changed…

  • one thing that’s clear from the MP map, if you zoom in, or go to google earth, the line going from Cohasset to Blackberry on the north, there are TWO lines in that corridor.  Need more info.
  • What are the conductor specs?  The line ratings are here in the MTEP 12 Appendix A, but why a 500kV line for so little MVA (click chart below for larger version)?



To look at the Certificate of Need docket, go HERE – PUC’S SEARCH DOCKET PAGE and search for docket 121163.  After you look it up, you can subscribe for notice of future filings by clicking “SUBSCRIBE” and following the directions!

The Notice Plan is up for review:

Minnesota Power’s Notice Plan for Great Northern Transmission Line

This is the plan by which they’ll give people notice about the pending Certificate of Need application, and Comments are due by 4:30 p.m. November 19, 2012, and Reply Comments are due by 4:30 p.m. December 10, 2012. Email comments with “Notice Plan Comments  Docket 12-1163” in the subject and body of email to:

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Filed under Maps, Open Houses