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Hydro to seek public input this fall into new line to Minnesota

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Manitoba Hydro says it will soon seek public input in planning a route for a new $350 million transmission line in southeast Manitoba to carry power to Minnesota.

In a news release today, the Crown corporation said it’s looking for help in identifying and refining the most suitable route "taking into account impacts on people and the environment."

Hydro said that over the next few months it will introduce the 500 kilovolt alternating current international transmission line project to the public and begin consultations in early fall.

"This public engagement process will provide numerous opportunities for the public to learn more about the project and share their interests and concerns with Manitoba Hydro," said Shannon Johnson, Hydro’s manager of licensing and environmental assessment.

"The first steps in the process include informing Manitoba Hydro customers and landowners of the project and initiating contact with municipal and Aboriginal leaders and interest groups."

Manitoba Hydro says it has signed firm sale agreements with U.S. energy utilities worth $7 billion. The new transmission project was triggered by the 250 megawatt 15-year sale to Minnesota Power that was announced in May 2011.

"The project will provide increased transmission capacity for Manitoba Hydro to earn revenue from the sale of surplus power and will enhance the reliability of supply in Manitoba through increased ability to import electricity in times of drought or other emergencies," the company said in its news release.

The proposed route will go from Winnipeg to the Manitoba-Minnesota border. There it will connect to the Great Northern Transmission Line to be constructed by Minnesota Power terminating in the vicinity of Duluth, Minnesota.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the projected is scheduled to be completed by mid-2020. The estimated cost of constructing the line to the border and upgrades at the Dorsey, Riel and Glenboro Stations is $350 million. The project will be part of the Public Utility Board’s Need For and Alternatives To Review of Manitoba Hydro’s development plan in early 2014.

Manitoba Hydro said more information on the project will be posted on its website in the near future. The public will also be able to register online to receive information on progress of project planning and environmental assessment as well as learn about opportunities to participate in the public engagement process. Questions can be addressed to mmtp@hydro.mb.ca or the project phone line 1-877-343-1631.

 

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