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.

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. The report and outcomes can be found at Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Public Registry.

Current status

We will continue with construction across each section of the project over the upcoming winter months. We will follow the construction environmental protection plans that was approved by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.

To maintain safe public access, travelers 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).

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