This article was published in December 2019 and may be outdated.
Starting 8 p.m. on December 5, a transformer weighing about 179,000 kilograms (almost 200 tons) will travel a carefully planned route from Winnipeg to Manitoba Hydro’s Riel Converter Station east of the city. The journey is 132 kilometres and will take approximately three days.
The transformer and two others, to be moved at later dates weather permitting, are part of the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project (MMTP) — a new 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line between Manitoba and the United States currently under construction. The transformers will allow the MMTP to connect to Manitoba Hydro’s transmission grid, which operates at 230 kV.
The first transformer will be moved from PTI Transformers at 101 Rockman Street in Winnipeg and continue on a route south around the city to Riel. It will be escorted by police and Manitoba Hydro staff.
The route: East on Rockman Street, south on Pembina Highway, west on Clarence Avenue, north on Waverley Street and west on McGillivray Boulevard. It continues west on PTH 3, south on MacDonald Road, west on PTH 2, west on PTH 3, south on PR 332, east on PR 305, south on PR 330/PR305, east on PR 305, north on PTH 75, east on PR 210, north on PTH 59, east on PTH 100, east on PTH 1 and north on Deacon Road (PR 207) to Riel.
Manitoba Hydro is using a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT). The transporter is a gigantic, ‘self-propelled’ trailer.
- Has 320 tires.
- Doesn’t require a truck to pull it.
- Is controlled by one person with a remote.
- Is similar to one used in 2012 to move the space shuttle Endeavour through Los Angeles.
- Moves at a maximum speed of 8 km/h, but travels at an average of 5 km/h.
- Is 34 metres (112 ft.) long; 7.5 metres (25 ft.) wide and extends over two lanes of traffic.
Due to the extreme weight of the transformer, the careful speed required to transport it and the size and movement limitations of the SPMT, Manitoba Hydro worked with Manitoba Infrastructure to minimize risk to bridges, overpasses and traffic control.
All other means of transportation have been thoroughly investigated and the over‐the‐road solution is the only feasible option available to safely move the transformers to the Riel station.
Motorists are urged to reduce speed and drive carefully along the route as the transformer is being moved.
The MMTP is being built to strengthen the overall reliability of Manitoba’s electricity supply by doubling the ability to import electricity from the U.S. in the event of emergencies, such as a drought. It will also allow the utility to fulfill current export sales agreements and increase the amount of electricity it can sell into the wholesale market in the U.S.
For more information, please contact:
Bruce Owen – Media Relations Officer
Riley McDonald — Media Relations Assistant