Portland General Electric signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Grid United and ALLETE Inc. in the development of the North Plains Connector, an approximately 415-mile high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission line to be constructed with endpoints near Bismarck, North Dakota and Colstrip, Montana. The parties will now work to finalize definitive agreements regarding PGE's participation, which is expected to involve a 20% ownership share of the project. The North Plains Connector will be the nation's first HVDC transmission connection among three regional U.S. electric energy markets the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the Western Interconnection and the Southwest Power Pool - providing additional flexibility and the sharing of resources across multiple time zones.

The North Plains Connector is one of the ways PGE is working collaboratively across the region to find solutions to nationwide transmission congestion. The electric transmission infrastructure would provide PGE with 600 megawatts of transfer capacity, access to diverse energy resources, enhanced wholesale markets and ease congestion on the existing western transmission system. The project represents an approximately $3.2 billion total investment in Montana and North Dakota and is expected to create over 600 jobs during construction.

Once built, this transmission infrastructure will also enable additional energy production in Montana and North Dakota.