Manitoba Hydro announced that the corporation will move forward with plans to build a new high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line, known as BiPole III, on the west side of the Province.
"BiPole III is an extremely important project that will improve the reliability of the electrical system for Manitobans," stated Bob Brennan, Manitoba Hydro President and CEO. "More than 75 percent of Manitoba Hydro's electricity production is supplied through the two existing HVDC lines that run from the Gillam area through the Interlake to the receiving station northwest of Winnipeg. The third HVDC line, placed at some distance away from the existing lines, would act as a back-up to the current system as well as being able to carry power from new generation, including Conawapa, to the south and to export markets."
The proposed line will originate near Gillam, run to the west of Lake Winnipegosis and terminate at the Riel Converter Station near Winnipeg. An extensive transmission and distribution network already exists on the west side of the province, including transmission running from the Nelson River area to southern Manitoba.
The precise route location will be determined after a multi-year environmental assessment, design and public consultation process that will be initiated later this year. The transmission project will need to receive approvals from the appropriate federal and provincial agencies.
Once the project design and route have been finalized, Manitoba Hydro will move forward to secure the environmental approvals necessary for construction. Targeted in-service date is 2017.