North Plains Connector project : Allete, Grid United partner to develop $2.5bn transmission line
Clean energy company Allete and Grid United, a transmission company, have joined forces to develop the North Plains Connector project, a core transmission link in the US to increase the reliability of the nation’s electric grid, with approximately $2.5 billion investment.
The transmission line will connect three regional US electric energy markets, namely the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the Western Interconnection, and the Southwest Power Pool.
The North Plains Connector project is a new, approximately 385-mile high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission line from central North Dakota to Colstrip, Montana.
The new transmission line will be open to all sources of electric generation and could feature 3GW of transfer capacity, moving electricity between the middle of the country and all three energy markets.
Bethany Owen — Allete Chair, President, and CEO said: “This innovative project is an important step toward a resilient and reliable energy grid across a wide area of the country and ties into important transmission projects being developed in the Upper Midwest and the Western Interconnection.
“We commend Grid United’s efforts on this much-needed project to enhance the nation’s grid and are thrilled to join forces as together we advance the North Plains Connector to completion.”
The North Plains Connector project is expected to ease congestion on the transmission system, enhance resiliency and reliability, and allow fast sharing of energy resources.
Allete, which anticipates to hold at least 35% ownership, would oversee the operation of the electricity transmission line.
Michael Skelly — Grid United CEO said: “We are delighted to work with Allete on the North Plains Connector.
“Allete’s superior track record of energy development in the Upper Midwest makes them the ideal partner to support this project through development into operations.
“It is no secret that the U.S. is in desperate need of new electric transmission capacity, and the North Plains Connector will provide resiliency and reliability benefits for decades to come.”
Allete and Grid United anticipate permitting for the North Plains Connector project to begin this year with a target to commission it in 2029, subject to regulatory approvals.