Minnesota Power to undergo grid modernization

US, Minnesota: Minnesota Power’s direct current transmission line, stretching 748 km (465 miles) from Center, N.D. to Duluth, will undergo a modernization in the next few years that will boost its capacity from 550 to 750 MW.

The transmission line already carries energy produced at Minnesota Power’s Bison Wind Energy Center in western North Dakota, which has expanded its capacity to 500 MW since the wind farm went online in 2012.

Julie Pierce, vice president of strategy and planning at Minnesota Power, said as the demand for wind from North Dakota increases, infrastructure needs to catch up.

Pierce said the company is still in the engineering phase of the project, but the upgrade could be completed by the mid-2020s. Pierce said the project could cost about $240 M based on the latest estimates.

Most of the upgrades would take place at the converter stations at each end of the transmission line, Pierce said.

Not long ago, only five percent of Minnesota Power’s energy came from renewable sources, but that’s increased to 30 % today. By 2025, the company expects to reach 45 %.

Source: West Central Tribune