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Expansion Projects / Northern Lights 2019 / Rochester Expansion

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Project Overview

The Northern Lights 2019 Project is composed of two discrete projects: the Northern Lights 2019 Expansion and the Rochester Expansion. The two projects will be built at the same time and Northern combined the two projects in the application made with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The proposed facilities for the Rochester project component includes: (1) construction of 12.3 miles of 16-inch-diameter greenfield branch line; (2) an increase in the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of an 8-mile segment of the La Crosse branch line; and (3) a new Rochester town border station (TBS).

​ The Northern Lights 2019 segment of the project consists of: (1) 9.9 miles of 24-inch-diameter greenfield pipeline; (2) 8.9 miles of branch line and mainline loops/extensions ranging in size from 6-inch- to 36-inch-diameter pipeline; (3) additional compression at Northern’s existing Faribault and Owatonna compressor stations; and (4) a new compressor station located near Carver, Minnesota. A specific description of the facilities can be found in the table below. The project is required to meet the growing energy requirements of Northern’s customers serving the state of Minnesota. All facilities, as described in the table, will be located within Minnesota.

The proposed routes, including the greenfield branch lines and the new compressor station site, were selected after analysis of engineering options, route/site options, and Project alternatives with an effort to minimize impacts to the environment and the number of affected landowners. The proposed pipeline loops and extensions will utilize existing pipeline corridors. The proposed site for the Carver, Minnesota, compressor station was selected due to its strategic location on Northern’s existing system.

On July 27, 2018, Northern filed an application with FERC in Docket No. CP18-534, and received authorization for the project February 21, 2019. A copy of the order authorizing the project, which includes the conditions of the order, can be found at the left under FERC menu bar. Northern is in the process of obtaining permission for the construction of the project components. On March 21, 2019, FERC authorized the start of the construction for the two compressor units at Faribault and Owatonna, and for the New Prague branch line loop. Northern plans to start construction this spring to meet a projected in-service date of November 1, 2019.


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