Riel will improve the reliability of the transmission system serving Winnipeg and southern Manitoba by providing a second location where electricity imported from the United States on an existing 500,000-volt transmission line can be fed into Manitoba Hydro's power grid.
"The transmission line to the U.S. is an important piece of Manitoba Hydro's system - it delivers surplus electricity to the U.S., and provides access to an alternate supply of energy in the event of an emergency or prolonged drought," said Scott Thomson, President and CEO, Manitoba Hydro. "With the energizing of Riel, we now have a second point where we can inject electricity from the U.S. into our system, helping ensure energy will be there when we need it."
The 500,000-volt transmission line runs from Dorsey Station, northwest of Winnipeg, to Minnesota. Construction of Riel began after studies concluded it was necessary to reduce dependence on the existing end-point of the line at Dorsey. Those studies were conducted after a major windstorm in September 1996 severely damaged 19 towers on Manitoba Hydro's high voltage direct current HVDC lines north of Dorsey, adjacent to the Dorsey-Minnesota transmission line.
The Riel Terminal Station came in on schedule at a cost of $330 million.