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-kV 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 at the Riel Station site east of Winnipeg and 2 ground electrodes; 1 at each converter station;
- additional 230-kVtransmission line interconnections in the north to tie the new converter station into the existing northern AC system.
Manitoba Sustainable Development 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. For regulatory filings, including the environmental protection plan, view the Bipole III document library.
To maintain safe public access, travellers to the construction areas are asked to contact us ahead of time to arrange for appropriate escorts though the security gates and past hazardous work zones. For more detailed information on access restriction (PDF, 381 KB), read our Access Management Plan (PDF, 830 KB).
500-kV HVDC transmission line
The Bipole III ± 500-kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line will originate at a Keewatinohk converter station site; travel west and south towards The Pas; travel south, staying west of Lake Winnipegosis and Lake Manitoba; pass south of Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg to terminate at the Riel Converter Station on the Riel site, in the RM of Springfield. The preferred route is approximately 1,384 km in length.
New 230-kV AC transmission lines will be required to connect the new Keewatinohk converter station to the existing Henday Converter Station and Long Spruce Generating Station in northern Manitoba; and at the Riel converter station east of Winnipeg to existing Ridgeway, Richer, Dorsey, and St. Vital stations.
Construction began in early 2014 with clearing of the northern transmission lines and installation of foundations.
2 new converter stations are required for the Bipole III project.
The Keewatinohk Converter Station will be located in northern Manitoba, northeast of Gillam. The Riel Converter Station is located in southern Manitoba, east of Winnipeg in the RM of Springfield.
Construction began in 2013 with civil site preparation for the Keewatinohk Converter station, Construction Power, as well as continued development of the Keewatinohk Camp. The Keewatinohk AC switchyard contract was awarded June 2014, and Construction Power was put into service July 2014.
Converter station construction update
This video describes the progress and some of the challenges faced in construction of the two converter stations that are part of the Bipole III Transmission Line.
The Bipole III project requires ground electrode facilities for the operation of the new Keewatinohk and Riel converter stations.
A ground electrode is a buried metal ring located within a section of land and is not visible at ground level and is generally undetectable in its function. Ground electrodes are required to provide a connection to ground at each converter station, and will be constructed on sites that are well separated from the converter stations.
An electrode line is also required to connect the ground electrode site to the converter station. The electrode line is an overhead low voltage line with structures similar to those on distribution power lines common along roadsides in rural Manitoba.
Bipole III is a renewable energy project and 1 of the 20 largest projects under construction in North America.
Help us build a reliable energy future.