Northland Reliability Project

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Routing a transmission line is no small task. The state of Minnesota has statutes and rules that guide the route development process and help minimize a project’s impact to human settlement and the environment. Input from you, local leaders and agencies as well as our own expertise is critical as we develop and finalize a route.

Routing process

Routing criteria

Throughout the route development process, we consider various opportunities and constraints such as those listed here.


  • Existing transmission line and utility corridors
  • Highways and roads
  • Property lines
  • Field lines


  • Agricultural considerations
  • Airports/air navigation facilities
  • Cemeteries
  • Communication towers*
  • Conservation areas/nature preserves
  • Cultural/archaeological and historic resources
  • Floodplains
  • Lakes/ponds
  • State/regional/local parks and trails
  • Levees/dams
  • Mines/quarries
  • Pipelines*
  • Potentially contaminated sites
  • Railroads*
  • Religious facilities
  • Residences (especially large clusters of homes)
  • Rivers/streams/wetlands
  • Scenic highways
  • Schools
  • Sensitive crops
  • Sensitive plant/animal species
  • Wells
*Constraints with additional precautions and studies required.

Five-step routing process

  • Define study area

  • Define route corridor

    We are here

  • Define route alternatives

  • Identify proposed route

  • Submit Certificate of Need and Route Permit to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

    Engagement opportunities during PUC process

We’re currently on step two: define route corridor, a narrowed geographic area within the study area that encompasses the endpoints of the project. We’ll be relying on feedback from you, local leaders, agencies and our own expertise to develop alternatives within the route corridor.