Building America’s Next Generation Energy Infrastructure

UNITING THE GRID

Our short video describes how America’s electric grid came to be and the solutions we are driving forward – long-haul transmission lines to make our power more reliable and secure.

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North Plains Connector

The North Plains Connector is an approximately 385 mile and up to 600 kilovolt high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line connecting the U.S. eastern and western electric grids in Montana and North Dakota. The North Plains Connector will be open to all sources of electrical power generation. In response to demand, the project will be able to transport power in either direction along the line.

The North Plains Connector is in the planning and development phase. We will continue to gather input from stakeholders and study the proposed project corridor. Using that input, we will finalize our route analysis, purchase land rights, and initiate regulatory filings, with approvals expected in 2025. Construction will commence after the project obtains the necessary regulatory approvals. The North Plains Connector could be operational as early as 2029.

Benefits

The North Plains Connector represents an approximately $2.5 billion investment in Montana and North Dakota and will be a long-term asset for those states. The project will improve grid resiliency and provide economic benefits through tax revenue payments, landowner payments, and job creation.

The project will improve the overall grid system by alleviating congestion, increasing reliability, and opening up new paths to market for generators. Connecting the North Dakota and Montana grids will help mitigate the impact of extreme weather events and accommodate the growing demand for electricity.

The project will provide tens of millions of dollars in additional property tax revenue and community investment. The North Plains Connector will create between 300 and 500 temporary construction jobs as well as permanent jobs. In addition, the project will increase economic activity among local small businesses such as materials suppliers, professional services, and hospitality.

Project Location

The North Plains Connector will be approximately 385 miles long, extending from an existing substation in Colstrip, Montana, to an existing substation in Center, North Dakota, and a new substation in Morton County, North Dakota.

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Landowner Relations

Our relationship with landowners and communities is at the core of everything we do. We believe that building strong and lasting relationships is key to the success of the North Plains Connector. We are committed to developing the project in a collaborative manner, and we commit to conduct easement negotiations in a manner that is fair to landowners and respectful of their private property rights.

Project Status

North Plains Connector is currently in the development phase of the project. Incorporating feedback from stakeholders and biological and cultural surveys, we are preparing a proposed route to include in our regulatory filings. In November, land agents began presenting landowners with Option for Easement Agreement documents, which will authorize the project the option to secure an easement on a specific portion of participating properties. In Spring 2023, North Plains Connector will initiate regulatory filings at the federal, state and county levels. The regulatory process will include a rigorous environmental review pursuant to the federal National Environmental Policy Act as well as state and local review.