Powering Strong Communities

Oregon Utility Joins Effort Tied to Development of 3,000-MW Transmission Line

Oregon utility Portland General Electric on May 28 said it signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Grid United and ALLETE, Inc. in the development of the North Plains Connector, an approximately 415-mile high-voltage direct-current transmission line to be constructed with endpoints near Bismarck, North Dakota and Colstrip, Montana.

The parties will now work to finalize definitive agreements regarding investor-owned PGE’s participation, which is expected to involve a 20% ownership share of the project.

The North Plains Connector will be the nation’s first HVDC transmission connection among three regional U.S. electric energy markets -- the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the Western Interconnection and the Southwest Power Pool -- providing additional flexibility and the sharing of resources across multiple time zones.

The electric transmission infrastructure would provide PGE with 600 megawatts of transfer capacity, access to diverse energy resources, enhanced wholesale markets and ease congestion on the existing western transmission system.

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