Converter stations

A significant amount of Manitoba’s electricity is produced by the 5 hydroelectric generating stations on the Nelson River, in the northern part of the province. The electricity generated must travel exceptionally long distances to southern Manitoba, where most of the electricity is used.

It is more efficient and economical to transmit electricity as high voltage direct current (HVDC). Our 3 converter stations convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) for transmission from northern Manitoba to southern Manitoba, and then convert DC back to AC for transmission to customers.

The stations also have large transformers which either step up or step down the voltage.

Dorsey Converter Station

Aerial photo of Dorsey Convertor Station.

Our Dorsey Converter Station is the southern terminus for the utility’s high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines.

Built in 1968, the converter station was named after Professor John Dorsey, who taught electrical engineering at the University of Manitoba from 1912 to 1952. Professor Dorsey was well known for his work on the transmission of electricity.


  • HVDC transmission line construction started January 1968;
  • Dorsey Converter Station construction started (Bipole I) September 1968;
  • HVDC transmission line completed March 1971;
  • First transmission to Dorsey (Bipole I) June 1972;
  • Bipole I completed October 1977;
  • Bipole II construction started October 1977;
  • First groups of Bipole II commissioned October 1978;
  • Bipole II completed May 1985.

Henday Converter Station

Aerial photo of Henday Converter Station.

Built in 1977, Manitoba Hydro’s Henday Converter Station was named after Anthony Henday, an eighteenth century trader who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

The Henday Converter Station is the northern terminus for our Bipole II high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system. It stands next to the Limestone Generating Station, which is located on the mighty Nelson River, and is 42 km northeast of the Radisson Converter Station — the northern terminal for Hydro’s Bipole I HVDC transmission system.


  • Located in Gillam;
  • Federal government and Manitoba Hydro reached financing agreement for DC facilities February 1966;
  • Bipole II started October 1977;
  • Stage 1 of Bipole II commissioned and placed in service October 1978;
  • Bipole II completed May 1985;
  • Manitoba Hydro purchased remaining years of financing agreement for DC facilities from federal government September 1992.

Radisson Converter Station

Aerial photo of Radisson Converter Station.

The Radisson Converter Station is located 2 km south of the Kettle Generating Station and about 740 km north of Winnipeg by air.

Built in 1968, it converts the alternating current (AC) electricity produced at the nearby Kettle and Long Spruce generating stations on the Nelson River to direct current (DC) electricity for transmission south to the Dorsey Converter Station. Dorsey then converts the power back to AC for use by consumers throughout southern Manitoba, and for export to neighbouring utilities.


  • HVDC transmission line started January 1968;
  • HVDC transmission line (Bipole I) completed March 1971;
  • Radisson and Dorsey converter stations became operations March 1971;
  • Bipole I completed October 1977;
  • Bipole I thyristor conversion completed November 1993.