Nashwauk, MN (NNCNOW.com) Minnesota Power has finished installing several transmission lines and electric substations that will energize the Essar Steel Minnesota taconite mine in Nashwauk.
The infrastructure project has cost about $35 million and about 45 contractors have been working for the past two years.
In total, 28 miles of lines were built and 21 miles were re-routed or removed.
"We're proud to have completed the first major transmission build on the Iron Range in many years, and we’re excited to begin the next stage of providing electric service to Nashwauk and Essar Steel," said Vice President-Transmission and Distribution Chris Fleege in a press release. "This new infrastructure not only energizes Nashwauk and Essar Steel, it also enhances electric reliability for the region.”
Essar Steel is building a mine, concentrator and taconite production facility capable of producing 7 million tons of taconite pellets.
When it reaches full production, the Essar facility will require about 110 megawatts of electricity.
MN Power spokespeople say the project included construction of three new 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines, one of which has a five-mile segment of double circuit 230 kV and 115 kV line. A 230-kV line was removed, and a 115-kV line was re-routed around the Essar property, tying a Great River Energy circuit to the Minnesota Power 115 -kV system, and providing fiber communications to two new substations.
Minnesota Power has agreed to meet all of Nashwauk's electric requirements through 2024.