WINNIPEG — Work is well underway on a transmission line that will energize the province with electricity from the United Sates in the event of an emergency, such as a drought.
Construction on the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission line started in the summer, and is continuing throughout the winter months.
“Starting almost two weeks ago now, the first towers started going up, just immediately northwest of the City of Winnipeg near our Dorsey Converter Station and also towers are now going up just immediately north of the U.S. border at Minnesota,” Bruce Owen, a spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro, told CTV News.
The Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project is going well according to Owen and if everything continues to move forward on schedule there could be lines being strung from the towers near Christmas.
Owen said, like any project, there have been some problems along the way, mainly related to weather.
“It’s no secret that the amount of rain that suddenly fell in September delayed some things.”
“I’m still reading today how some farmers or producers in the areas that were hardest hit are still waiting to get their harvest off the field, we’re no different, we need ideal conditions to do our work,” said Owen. “What happened, particularly in southeast Manitoba with the amount of rain that fell, local states of emergency were declared, flooded roads, access roads flooded, it did cause of some delays.”
When it comes to the financial burden that could follow a set back like Manitoba Hydro experienced, Owen, said it is too early to tell what the impact will be, but other plans have been put into place to speed up the process.
Owen said he is also hoping Mother Nature will cooperate for the rest of the year and bring some colder conditions to the province, as this would help the workers deal with some of the wetter areas more easily.
But if that doesn’t happen Owen noted crews will be ready.
“There’s always a plan B and in many cases, there’s also a plan C.”
Even if work isn’t being done specifically on the towers, Manitoba Hydro continues to be busy working on all aspects of the project, the newest work will see a 200-tonne transformer transported to rural Manitoba.