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Planning Zones

Northwest Zone
Northeast Zone
West Central Zone
Twin Cities Zone
Southwest Zone
Southeast Zone

MN Counties (large map)

Sponsoring Utilities
American Transmission Company
Central Minnesota Power Agency/Services
Dairyland Power Cooperative
East River Electric Power Cooperative
Great River Energy
ITC Midwest
L&O Power Cooperative
Minnesota Power
Minnkota Power Cooperative
Missouri River Energy
Otter Tail Power Company
Rochester Public Utilities Commission
Southern Minnesota
Municipal Power Agency
Xcel Energy
Participating Government Agencies
Minnesota Public Utililities Commission
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Environmental Quality Board
Related Links
North American Electric Reliability Council
Midcontinent ISO
National Electric Safety Code
US Department of Energy

Minnesota Biennial Transmission Planning

This website provides information for the public and other stakeholders about transmission projects that are being planned in the state of Minnesota. The website was created by the utilities who own or operate transmission lines, substations or other facilities in Minnesota in response to state rules passed in 2003 (see below). You will find information or sources of information here about:


Minnesota’s Electric Transmission System

Minnesota’s electric transmission system—the high-voltage power lines that transmit electricity from power generation plants to customers—is part of an overall regional transmission grid operated in coordination with other systems throughout the Upper Midwest and Eastern United States.

The system was originally designed to deliver power to major electric load centers such as the Twin Cities metropolitan area, Duluth, Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud, as well as to interconnect utilities in the state to ensure reliable delivery of electricity. It acts, in many ways, like a regional highway system that provides the physical link between power producers and utilities and delivers electricity to substations and distribution systems that serve farms, businesses and homes. See how the transmission system works.

Many utilities in Minnesota also are members of a larger regional transmission organization called the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).
  • Transmission projects various utilities are planning
  • How you can participate in the process of the development of transmission projects in Minnesota
  • Legislation that requires utilities to coordinate planning efforts and create opportunities for public participation
  • Studies of Minnesota’s transmission system
  • More

By November 1 of each odd-numbered year, any utility that owns or operates electric transmission lines in Minnesota is required (Minnesota Statutes 216B.2425) to submit a transmission projects report to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The report is called the Biennial Transmission Projects Report, or Biennial Report, and the 16 utilities involved file this report jointly.

Learn about the legislation requiring transmission planning reports and public participation in Chapter 2 of the 2013 Biennial Transmission Project Report and in the Biennial Transmission Filing Rulemaking.

Grid Modernization Report

Northern States Power Company, doing business as Xcel Energy, submitted a Grid Modernization Report on November 1, 2015. Download PDF document.

Public meetings and webcast

We encourage all interested stakeholders to learn about transmission projects being planned in the state of Minnesota and participate in the process by providing comments. Our webcasts address the Biennial Transmission Projects Report and how to identify projects that are proposed in each part of the state.

For questions, email Lori Buffington at lbuffington@grenergy.com.

Southeast Zone Southwest Zone Twin Cities Zone West Central Zone Northeast Zone Northwest Zone


Transmission Planning Zones

For planning and reporting purposes, the state of Minnesota is divided into seven transmission planning zones. Click on a zone in small map at right or go to large map of Minnesota Transmission Planning Zones.