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Studies and Reports > 2009 MN Biennial Report > TC Planning Zone > Needs: 6.5.6 Elk River – Ramsey – Bunker Lake Area (Enterprise Park)

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Transmission Projects Report 2009
Section 6.5: Twin Cities Zone
p. 191

6.5.6 Elk River – Ramsey – Bunker Lake Area (Enterprise Park)

Tracking Number. 2003-TC-N12

Utility. Great River Energy

Inadequacy. The following description of the situation is identical to what was included in the 2007 Report. This area is served by two 230/69 kV sources, one from the Elk River substation and one from the Bunker Lake substation. The Enterprise Park substation, between the two sources, is a radial-fed substation, which means it has only one line (source) leading to it. The loss of one of the 230/69 kV sources on either end results in an overload situation on the other 69 kV line. The growth potential in this area is high because of undeveloped land along Highway 10 in Ramsey, and the problem is expected to become worse.

A map of the area is shown following the discussion.

Alternatives. Three long-term alternatives have been under consideration for several years, since first identified in the 2003 Report. These alternatives include the following:

Alternative 1: A new 115/69 kV source at Enterprise Park.

Alternative 2: Converting the 69 kV system between Elk River and Bunker Lake to 115 kV.

Alternative 3: Rebuild the 69 kV system between Elk River and Bunker Lake.

GRE has now identified two different options for a new line to serve Enterprise Park. These include the following:

Alternative 1a: A new Crooked Lake-Enterprise Park 115 kV line and Enterprise Park 115/69 kV source.

Alternative 1b: A new Crooked Lake-Enterprise Park 115 kV line and conversion of the Enterprise Park substation to 115 kV operation.

Finally, a fourth option is distributed generation.

Alternative 4: Distributed generation.

Analysis. Great River Energy constructed a new 175 MW natural gas fired peaking generator in Elk River in 2009. This required GRE to rebuild the existing 69 kV line between the Elk River and RDF substations which has provided some additional capacity for the system. However, a new transmission line to the Enterprise Park Substation is still required.

Alternative 1b is desired over Alternative 1a because the long-term plan is to continue distribution substation conversions to 115 kV as load growth will cause area 230/69 kV transformer loadings to become a concern in addition to the area voltage support and line overload concerns. This project would be a start of a 115 kV system between Coon Rapids and the Elk River area (see West Central Region Project 2009-WC-N6).

Distributed generation is not desirable in this area because this system serves the Highway 10 corridor where load growth has been high in recent years and significant development potential still exists. Any generation added to this system would need to be sized to meet the future load growth or continually added as the system load grows. Furthermore, any such generation would need to be distribution-connected and/or added near the Enterprise Park substation to be effective in reducing the 69 kV line flows. The Elk River peaking generator was installed as capacity resource to meet GRE member demand and not as a distributed generation resource to alleviate area line flows and thus tends to exacerbate any transformer and line loading issues on the 69 kV system in question.

Schedule. GRE is currently reviewing corridor options for a new 115 kV line. Any new line would be less than ten miles in length so a Certificate of Need from the Commission is not required. GRE anticipates that a route permit will be sought in 2010, probably from local government. GRE has a scheduled energization date of 2012 for this project.

PUC Docket Numbers. CN-07-678 (Certificate of Need for the Elk River Peaking Plant) GS-07-715 (Site Permit for the Elk River Peaking Plant)


Transmission Projects Report 2009
Section 6.5: Twin Cities Zone
p. 193

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