Bipole III

Transmission Reliability Project

Bipole III is a new high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission project required to improve overall system reliability and dependability. Projected in-service date for this project is anticipated for 2018.

The Bipole III transmission project involves the construction of:

  • an HVDC transmission line: 500-kilovolt line linking the northern power generating complex on the Lower Nelson River with the conversion and delivery system in southern Manitoba;
  • 2 new converter stations; 1 in northern Manitoba northeast of Gillam (Keewatinohk) and 1 east of Winnipeg at the Riel Station site;
  • 2 ground electrodes; 1 at each converter station;
  • additional 230-kV transmission line interconnections in the north to tie the new converter station into the existing northern AC system.

Current status

News Release, September 18, 2014: Supplier Selected for Largest Bipole III Reliability Project Contract.

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship has approved the Construction Environmental Protection Plan for the Riel Converter Station Facilities, Infrastructure and Ground Electrode in accordance with Clause 4 of the Environment Act Licence. View the Construction Environmental Protection Plan (PDF, 2.3 MB).

Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship granted Environment Act Licence No. 3055 to Manitoba Hydro on August 14, 2013 for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Bipole III Transmission Project.

We received approval for Licence Clause #8 of the Environment Act Licence, which concerned routing in southern Manitoba where the transmission line was not located on the half mile alignment. The report and outcomes can be found at Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Public Registry.

Improving reliability

Approximately 75 per cent of our generating capacity is delivered to southern Manitoba via the existing HVDC Interlake corridor, which is shared by the Bipole I and II transmission lines.

Due to the heavy reliance on one transmission corridor and a single converter station in the south (Dorsey), the system is vulnerable to extensive power outages from severe weather (major ice storm, extreme wind event, tornado), fires, or other events.

Studies have concluded that a new transmission line and associated facilities would improve system reliability and reduce dependency on Dorsey Station and the existing HVDC Interlake corridor. The Bipole III Transmission Reliability Project would also establish a second converter station in southern Manitoba, to provide another major point of power injection into the transmission and distribution system.

Name change for northern converter station

We have changed the name of the northern converter station under construction as part of the Bipole III Project to Keewatinohk. Pronounced Kee-way-tin-oohk, the Cree word for the north. Formerly known as Keewatinoow, the station's name change was effective August 18, 2014. Keewatinohk will be used in all future work, though Keewatinoow may still appear in materials that pre-date the change.

Read more about Bipole III