The role of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission must grant two major approvals before a transmission line can be constructed – a Certificate of Need and a Route Permit specifying where the line is to be routed. An environmental report is prepared by the Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security during the need process and an environmental impact statement is written during routing. For more information about the state regulatory process, click here.

Certificate of Need

A Certificate of Need from the Commission is required prior to building a high voltage transmission line. It determines if the proposed transmission lines are necessary and what the appropriate size, configuration and timing of the project should be. For more information on the Certificate of Need process, click here.

Bemidji-Grand Rapids 230 kV project

A Certificate of Need application for the 230 kV transmission line and associated system connections from Bemidji-Grand Rapids was filed on March 17, 2008. It was granted on July 9, 2009.

Three 345 kV projects

Fargo-St. Cloud-Monticello
Brookings County-Hampton
Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse

A Certificate of Need application for the three 345 kV projects was filed on August 16, 2007.

A supplement to the Certificate of Need application was submitted, providing the information required by the Commission’s October 30, 2007 decision for the application to be accepted as substantially complete.

The Commission referred the application to the Office of Administrative Hearings and Administrative Law Judge Beverly Heydinger. http://mn.gov/oah/multimedia/pdf/250019350.PHO.pdf

Administrative Law Judge Beverly Heydinger issued her report to the Commission on February 27, 2009, recommending a finding of need for all three 345-kV projects.

The Commission issued its written order on May 22, 2009 granting the 345 kV projects' Certificate of Need with conditions.

The Commission issued its written order granting and denying motions for reconsiderations and modifying conditions.
   


Route Permit

A Route Permit from the Commission is also necessary prior to building a high voltage transmission line. Once a Route Permit application is filed, the Commission’s regulatory process begins. For more information on this process, click here.

Bemidji-Grand Rapids 230 kV project

Brookings County-Hampton 345 kV project

Fargo-St. Cloud 345 kV project

Monticello-St. Cloud 345 kV project

Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse 345 kV project