The 225 mile Great Northern Transmission Line running from near Roseau at the Canadian border to a substation north of Warba is on schedule and within budget, according to Kyle Larson, construction manager. The 500 kV line is intended to bring hydro power from Manitoba Hydro into the Minnesota Power system.
Larson gave a report to the Itasca County Board at its July 23 meeting, explaining that the construction was largely complete north of Togo and was underway in the 47 mile corridor in eastern Itasca County.
The scheduled completion date is June 2020, but the project is targeting completion in March.
All the tangent transmission structures that were being placed by helicopter are set; only a few remain that will be placed by traditional methods with a crane. Larson said that the helicopter will still be making weekly trips moving materials, however.
A helicopter is also used to pull line, he explained. A bundle of 3 wires is attached to a cable, then to a rope which is fastened to the aircraft. Five miles of wire is pulled at a time.
The line will terminate at the Warba substation, expected to be complete by the end of 2019. In response to a commissioner’s question, Larson indicated that a continuation of the line to Duluth was not planned at this time.