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Expansion Projects / Northern Lights 2021

Date Requested: Jul 13 2020 4:35 PM
Printable Version


Project Overview

The Northern Lights 2021 Expansion Project will allow Northern to accommodate requests from its customers for firm natural gas transportation capacity along Northern's existing pipeline system. To meet these requests, Northern is proposing to construct and operate (1) a pipeline loop and pipeline extension totaling 1.48 miles; (2) one new compressor station; (3) the replacement of 0.08 mile of 8-inch-diameter pipeline with 12-inch-diameter pipeline; (4) modifications, including additional compression, at an existing compressor station; and (5) modifications at an interconnect; all located in Minnesota. The facilities are further described in the table below.

Component Name Component Description County State
Pipeline 0.79-mile extension of the 24-inch-diameter Willmar D branch line Dakota and Scott MN
  0.69-mile 24-inch-diameter Carlton Interconnect loop Carlton MN
  0.08-mile replacement of 8-inch-diameter Viking Interconnect branch line with 12-inch-diameter pipeline Morrison MN
Compression A new compressor station near Hinckley Pine MN
  Additional compression at the Pierz compressor station Morrison MN
Interconnect Modifications to the Pierz Interconnect Morrison MN


On December 6, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Northern's application to use the Commission's pre-filing process. The pre-filing proceeding, which has been docketed by the Commission at PF20-1-000, requires Northern to implement a Public Participation Plan that involves open houses and other outreach opportunities, as needed, with affected landowners and other stakeholders. Northern conducted two open houses, on February 17 and 18, 2019, in Cold Spring and Prior Lake, Minnesota, respectively.

The project scope has since been reduced by deleting the 5.75-mile 6-inch-diameter Paynesville branch line loop in Stearns County, Minnesota, and reducing the length of the 24-inch-diameter Willmar D branch line extension in Dakota and Scott counties, Minnesota, from 1.97 miles to 0.79 mile. Landowners and stakeholders affected by this scope revision will be provided notification of the change.

Northern plans to file its application with the Commission for project approval in June 2020. Northern is anticipating that approval for the project, subject to Commission review, will occur in March 2021. The facilities are scheduled to be placed into service November 1, 2021.


  • Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Northern at 1-888-367-6671, which is operated 24 hours a day seven days a week. If you call, please tell the operator that you are calling about the Northern Lights 2021 Expansion project.
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