The Fargo-St. Cloud 345 kV transmission line will improve community reliability in the southern Red River Valley and the Fargo, Alexandria and St. Cloud areas. The project will also support additional generation development, including renewable generation, in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.
The double circuit capable 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line stretches between a new Bison Substation west of Fargo, North Dakota, the existing Alexandria Switching Station in Alexandria, Minnesota, and the new Quarry Substation west of St. Cloud.
Construction of the Fargo-St. Cloud 345 kV transmission line started in 2012, and the line was energized April 2, 2015.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission must grant two approvals before construction – a Certificate of Need and a Route Permit. An environmental report is prepared by the Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security during the need process, and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is written during routing.
North Dakota permitting
Before a high voltage transmission line can be built in North Dakota, three permits must be filed with the North Dakota Public Service Commission – a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), a Certificate of Corridor Compatibility and a Route Permit.