Commercial Construction

The Construction Guide is your roadmap to obtaining electric service from Minnesota Power. Inside you will find step by step instructions to receive electrical service. You will also find descriptions of programs available at Minnesota Power such as Dual Fuel and Controlled Access. There are sections on the wise use of energy as well as tips on the most economical way to save energy. You will learn the rules and regulations that govern how we provide electric service and finally will have a checklist to keep your project clearly defined and on track. Minnesota Power is proud to provide you with clean, safe electric energy and looks forward to meeting your needs.

For engineers and architects who are requesting information for project design prior to application for service, please fill out the preconstruction form below.

Relevant Documents:


The information contained in this handbook will help you understand the steps involved in establishing electric service. We outlined each step in the process, including both an overview and detailed information. A well-prepared application, a well-prepared site and good communication with Minnesota Power are the best ways to keep your project on track.

Step 1. Application and Planning

Your Role: Minnesota Power will be happy to serve your energy needs if your property is within Minnesota Power's service territory. To determine if Minnesota Power will be your electric service provider, please visit www.mnpower.com call the New Construction Center at 1-877-535-0394 or 218-720-2644 or e-mail us at: newconstruction@mnpower.com.

Next, complete and return the Application for Service (form 6034C). Mail, fax or e-mail both your application and your site plan to:

Mail:     Minnesota Power
    Attn: New Construction Center
    PO Box 1001
    Duluth, MN 55806-1001

Fax:     218-720-2795
Email:  newconstruction@mnpower.com

Contractors and Engineers use Minnesota Power’s Electrical Design Preconstruction Form (6034E) to obtain electric utility information for your pre-construction bid.

Step 2. Confirmation

Our Role: After we receive your completed application, a Minnesota Power representative will contact you. They will discuss your electric service needs, and if needed, set up an appointment for a site visit. A Minnesota Power representative will provide site requirements and cost estimates after the site visit.

Step 3.

Your Role: Complete all of the requirements to prepare the site for service installation.

We ask that the customer prepares the site as follows:

  • Mark all property corners with stakes, with “Property Corner” labeled on the stake.
  • Identify approximate location where customer’s electric service panel will be installed.
  • Where Minnesota Power facilities are going to be installed, grade and landscape within six inches of final grade.
  • A service path clear of obstructions from the Minnesota Power electric facilities to the meter location.
    • A minimum 10-foot-wide path for underground installation
    • A minimum 30-foot-wide path for overhead installation.
  • Locate and mark privately-owned underground facilities with stakes, spray paint or flags.
  • In the event that we need to cross your driveway with Minnesota Power underground electric facilities, we ask that a four-inch Schedule 40 conduit be installed, extended 10 feet beyond each side of the driveway.
  • If you, the customer, will require any excavation at your site, please visit the Gopher State One Call Web site: www.gopherstateonecall.org, or dial 811 to have underground, utility-owned facilities marked.
Location of Underground Facilities

It is important for Minnesota Power to know the location of all existing and planned facilities, structures or other potential obstructions to ensure a clear path for your electric service lines. Be sure to clearly mark these facilities as noted on your submitted site plan.

Utility-owned Facilities

Minnesota Power will contact Gopher State One Call to have underground, utility-owned facilities located and marked on your property, for example: water, gas, electric, sewer, telephone and cable. Gopher State One Call requires each party to obtain their own One Call ticket for excavation.

Privately-owned Facilities

The customer is responsible for the location and marking of privately-owned underground facilities, for example: water, gas, electric, sewer, telephone and cable.

Minnesota Power (and/or its contractors) will not be held responsible for damage to private underground facilities that have not been properly identified and marked.

Electrical Inspections

Minnesota Power requires a copy of the Request for Electrical Inspection or verification from the local electrical inspector prior to energizing any service.

Outside the city of Duluth

Within the state of Minnesota jurisdictional area, the electrical contractor will be responsible for filing a Request for Electrical Inspection with the state of Minnesota and for providing a copy to Minnesota Power.

Send a copy of the form to:

Mail:     Minnesota Power
    Attn: New Construction Center
    PO Box 1001
    Duluth, MN 55806-1001

Fax:     218-720-2680
Email:  newconstruction@mnpower.com

Inside the city of Duluth

Within the city of Duluth, it is the responsibility of the electrical contractor to contact the city of Duluth for the electrical inspection. Once the inspection has been completed, the city electrical inspector will notify Minnesota Power

Fees

Payment for line extension and/or temporary electric service, if required, must be received by a Minnesota Power representative prior to scheduling your installation. Minnesota Power does not offer any financing options. Full payment can be made in the form of check, money order, purchase order, credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) or debit card.

Step 4. Scheduling and Installation

Our Role: Minnesota Power will make every effort to meet your requested completion date. The amount of time it takes to complete the installation depends on a variety of factors. Once all requirements are met, the work will be scheduled. Minnesota Power will make every effort to meet your requested completion date. The amount of time it takes to complete the installation depends on a variety of factors. Once all requirements are met, the work will be scheduled.

Your Role: During this step of the process, make sure your site remains ready for service. Inform your builder to keep the path where the new service will be installed clear of obstructions. Please be sure to keep us informed of any design or scheduling changes. Please provide the name of the person that we can speak with about the details and coordination of your project.

Step 5. Billing

Our Role: Billing will begin as soon as the electric meter is installed. The bill will include both a monthly minimum service charge and an energy usage charge.

Your Role: The new occupant/business owner is responsible for contacting us to have the electric bill transferred into their name. This is only necessary if the account was previously in the name of the builder/general contractor.

Basic Costs

The Minnesota Power representatives will design the electrical service extension, determine the locations of facilities and estimate extension costs. Estimates depend upon location of existing distribution facilities, location of customer’s buildings on the property and the design decision of overhead or underground facilities.

Extensions

Projects will be determined using the Extension Rules contained in the Minnesota Power Rate Book.

Single phase extensions less than 1,000 feet under normal construction circumstances are based upon a unit cost per linear foot (subject to change upon annual review).

Single phase line extensions over 1,000 feet and all three phase line extensions are based upon estimated cost. Your Minnesota Power representative will calculate the cost of the extension based upon labor and materials.

Additional Costs not apparent at the time the estimate is generated will be billed accordingly. Examples include subsurface impediments, frost, and any required route or design changes.

Temporary Service Installation

Temporary service is defined in Minnesota Power’s Extension Rules as “service to a customer whose use of that service, in the company’s judgment, may be less than five years duration.”

A customer may choose to have a temporary service during the construction phase of the project. The customer provides the temporary service structure including, but not limited to, proper timber construction with sufficient bracing and approved meter socket. Temporary services should not be located closer than 10 feet from the Minnesota Power facilities (examples: pole, pad-mounted transformer).

Cover-up

The following are requirements of OSHA regulation sections 1926.416(a)(1) and 1926.550(a)(15).

1926.416(a)(1): Protection of employees. No employer shall permit an employee to work in such proximity to any part of an electric power circuit that the employee could contact the electric power circuit in the course of work, unless the employee is protected against electric shock by de-energizing the circuit and grounding it or by guarding it effectively by insulation or other means. (This requires a minimum clearance of 10 feet for lines rated 50 kV or less).

1926.550(a)(15): Cranes. Except where electrical distribution and transmission lines have been de-energized and visibly grounded at point of work or where insulating barriers, not a part of or an attachment to the equipment or machinery, have been erected to prevent physical contact with the lines, equipment or machines shall be operated proximate to power lines only in accordance with the following (i) For lines rated 50 kV or below, minimum clearance between the lines and any part of the crane or load shall be 10 feet.

It is the responsibility of the contractor to contact Minnesota Power to provide cover-up.

Contact the central dispatch area for scheduling and fee schedule at 218-720-2757.

Right-of-way

Easements, Permits or Licenses

Minnesota Power’s Extension Rules require customers to provide “satisfactory right-of-way necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the extension (including any tree-trimming rights) both for the purpose of providing access to the extension on the customer’s premises and for continuing the extension to other customers, has been furnished without expense to the company” (Extension Rules, Section 8, Paragraph 3).

Providing satisfactory “right-of-way” requires that we have a general understanding of the term to mean “ a strip of land used by a utility company and others AND the right to pass over the land of another.

  • Right-of-way involves “land,” both public land and private land.
    • Public land—involving streets, roads, highways, forest lands, wetlands, lakes, rivers, streams and trailswill (almost always) require either a permit or a license.
    • Private land—involving commercial and rural property, including railroad and mining propertycan require an easement and, on occasion, require a license.
  • Right-of-way involves (primarily) three forms of legal documentation:
    • Easement—a written document giving one party (grantee) the right and privilege to use the land of another (grantor) for a special purpose.
    • Permit—a written document giving one party (permittee) permission and personal privilege to do some act on the land or right-of-way of another (permitter), usually for an unspecified duration of time (no term) and for a fee.
    • License—a written document giving one party (licensee) permission and personal privilege to do some act on the land or right-of-way of another (licensor), usually for a specified duration of time (term) and for a fee.

Your Minnesota Power representative will help determine if the line extension will affect public or private land and identify the legal document that will be necessary in order for Minnesota Power to extend electric service to your business. All expenses or costs involving right-of-way (acquisition of easements, permits or license) will be paid by the customer

Utility Easement Restrictions

Minnesota Power suggests that easements remain clear of any obstructions that will make it difficult to maintain or replace the existing facilities. Keeping utility easements clear helps utility companies perform routine maintenance, construct improvement projects and repair utility lines during emergencies. Minnesota Power will make an effort to limit damage to landscaping; all damages to landscaping located within the boundaries of the utility easement are the responsibility of the landowner.

Dual Fuel

The Dual Fuel interruptible service rate is designed for electric heating. To qualify for this rate, you must have a nonelectric backup heating system. The Dual Fuel system consists of an electric service entrance and panel connected only to your electric heating equipment. This separate electric service for heat has its own meter and switch that is controlled by Minnesota Power. During times when demand on Minnesota Power’s electric system is high or to perform necessary interruption tests, we can interrupt your Dual Fuel service. When this happens, your nonelectric backup heating system must be capable of meeting your heating needs. Your backup heating system must be capable of providing all of your heating needs up to 30 percent of any annual period. Electric service for your other appliances is not affected.

Conditions:

Electric heating systems can be convective baseboards, wall heaters and radiant slabs or ceilings, furnaces, plenum heaters, boilers and heat pumps.

Backup heating systems can be fueled by oil, wood, propane or natural gas. The backup system must be capable of continuous automatic operation to meet your total space or water heating needs. The business owner will receive a Dual Fuel heating agreement and the tax-exempt card after the meter is installed (all heating fuels in the state of Minnesota are tax exempt).

How to Participate:

Call Minnesota Power at 218-720-2644 or 800-307-6937, for more information on the Dual Fuel program.

Controlled Access

Storage Heating Rate

The Controlled Access rate is designed around the ability to store energy for space and water heating. During off-peak hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., when the cost of electricity and system demand is less, storage heating equipment turns on and stores the energy needed for the balance of the day. A storage system can consist of thermal storage room units, a central storage furnace, a central hot water system or slab heat. Water heating on the storage rate generally requires a minimum of one 80-gallon electric water heater or two 52-gallon electric water heaters. Larger combinations may be necessary depending on hot water demand. Electricity to energize the heating equipment is on only between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. This system is also known as controlled access or “ETS” (electric thermal storage).

Conditions:

To qualify for the Controlled Access rate, you must have sufficient storage capacity to meet your building’s space or water heating needs. The business owner will receive a Controlled Access Agreement and the tax-exempt card after the meter is installed (all heating fuels in the state of Minnesota are tax-exempt)

How to Participate:

Call Minnesota Power at 218-720-2644 or 800-307-6937, for more information on the Controlled Access program.

Saving Tools and Information

The choice to be more energy efficient may be clear, but the starting point can be more difficult to determine. One of the best ways to answer the question “Where do I begin?” is by first understanding how you use energy and then learning more about the options available to you. Throughout the Power of One® Web site, Minnesota Power provides a number of tools, references and calculators to help you prioritize steps and develop and implement an action plan that’s right for you.

Visit our Web site at www.mnpower.com/powerofone or call 218-355-3070, for more information about our programs, rebates and tools

Your site will be reviewed to determine the nearest power source and meter location options for the installation of your new electric service. Unless customer voltage needs cannot be met, Minnesota Power distribution facilities will be located as far as 300 feet from your electrical service panel. Minnesota Power facilities will be located in a truck accessible location to ensure ongoing access for maintenance. Design and installation of Minnesota Power facilities will be determined by Minnesota Power personnel and will be constructed according to Minnesota Power Engineering Standards and the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Overhead Installation—Single Phase

Lot Line Metering—Company Standard

With lot line metering, company-provided meter enclosure on a company owned pole will be located at the lot line or in close proximity of Minnesota Power facilities. Your contractor can connect customer owned underground cable to the meter enclosure to provide you temporary construction power. Minnesota Power’s lot line metering enclosures have a capacity of 200 amperes and provide connecting lugs for three sets of conductors; however, they do not provide space for individual breakers. You and/or your electrical contractor will need to arrange for an outdoor weatherproof load center, GFCI breakers or GFCI outlets and grounding for temporary service. Minnesota Power’s point of service is at the bus work on the load side of the breaker. The electrical contractor is responsible for sizing, purchasing, installing and maintaining material between Minnesota Power’s meter enclosure to the customer’s electrical service equipment.

Overhead Installation other than Lot Line Metering

Overhead installation is the overhead electrical power line from Minnesota Power’s utility pole to your meter location. The customer is responsible for sizing, purchasing, installing and maintaining the meter enclosure, riser pipe, weatherhead and Point of Attachment (POA).

The POA shall be located at a point readily accessible to Minnesota Power’s distribution mains or service drop. The POA shall be of sufficient mechanical strength to support the wind- and ice-loaded weight of the service drop and shall be located as determined in conjunction with your Minnesota Power representative

When multiple conduit risers or service masts are installed to support a single electric entrance, it is the customer’s responsibility to provide the connector that ties the customer’s conductors (wires) together and allows for a single point of connection to Minnesota Power’s conductors.

Clearance Table  
Over street, alley, public roadway, parking lot, drive-in, commercial, industrial and farm areas 16’ minimum
Over residential garage driveways 15’6” minimum
Over areas accessible to pedestrians 12’ minimum

Minnesota Power’s connectors at the point of attachment (POA) shall meet National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) minimum clearance. All customer owned equipment shall meet any applicable National Electric Code (NEC) requirements. A Minnesota Power representative will work with your electrical contractor to meet all national clearance requirements and applicable local and state codes.

Underground Installation—Single Phase

Underground Installation—Company Standard

With lot line metering, a company-provided meter enclosure on a company owned wood pedestal will be located at the lot line or in close proximity of Minnesota Power facilities. Your contractor can connect customer owned underground cable to the meter enclosure to provide you temporary construction power. Minnesota Power’s lot line metering enclosures have a capacity of 200 amperes and provide connecting lugs for three sets of conductors; however, they do not provide space for individual breakers. You and/or your electrical contractor will need to arrange for an outdoor weatherproof load center, GFCI breakers or GFCI outlets and grounding for temporary service. Minnesota Power’s point of service is at the bus work on the load side of the breaker.

The electrical contractor is responsible for sizing, purchasing, installing and maintaining the material between Minnesota Power’s metering enclosure to the customer’s electrical service equipment.


If your Minnesota Power representative has determined that lot line metering is not appropriate for your installation, the following options may be applicable.


Underground Installation other than Lot Line Metering

The electrical contractor is responsible for sizing, purchasing, installing and maintaining the underground conduit (cable), meter enclosure conduit, weatherhead (if applicable) and all other associated material needed from the customer’s electric service equipment to Minnesota Power’s point of service.

Connecting to Ground-mounted Facilities—Single Phase

When connecting private underground service cable to Minnesota Power’s ground-mounted facilities, the customer will provide, own and maintain the cable.

Service is less than or equal to 320 amps

The customer shall dig and install private underground service cable to within one foot of any side of the secondary pedestals or the front right side of a pad-mounted transformer, leaving a minimum of six feet of cable above ground for connection purposes. Minnesota Power personnel will dig the remaining trench length, dig under the transformer or secondary pedestal and connect the cable to the transformer or secondary pedestal.

Service is greater than 320 amps

The customer shall dig and install private underground service cable to within one foot of any side of the secondary pedestals or the front right side (the front is the side where the lock is located) of a pad-mounted transformer, leaving a minimum of six feet of cable above ground for connection purposes. Minnesota Power personnel will de-energize the transformer or secondary pedestal. The customer will dig the remaining trench length, dig under the transformer or secondary pedestal, and in conjunction with Minnesota Power personnel, connect the cable to the de-energized transformer or secondary pedestal.

Bypass Metering Requirements

If Lot Line Metering is Not Used

Bypass Metering

In order to minimize power interruptions during meter replacement or calibration, and to ensure safety of Minnesota Power employees, all commercial, customer-owned, self-contained meter sockets must have a jaw-clamping lever-type bypass.

Horn-type bypasses are not acceptable bypasses.

Exceptions to a bypass requirement are:
  • Temporary service intended for one year or less
  • Service for illuminating signs or billboards
  • Service for street lighting (does not include traffic control lights or semaphores)

Self Contained Metering

200-Amp Single-Phase 3-Wire— 4 or 5 terminal, 200-amp, jaw-clamping, lever-operated bypass, weatherproof, ringless, screwless cover, 5th jaw at nine o’clock position, hub opening for overhead, closure plate or plain top for underground.

320-Amp Single-Phase 3-Wire—4 terminal, 320-amp, jaw-clamping, lever-operated bypass, weatherproof, ringless, screwless cover, hub opening for overhead, closure plate or plain top for underground. Anti-inversion clips in the upper right jaw are not allowed.
200 Amp 3 Wire Network or 3 Phase 3 or 4 Wire—5 terminal, 200-amp jaw-clamping lever-operated bypass, weatherproof, ringless, screwless cover, 5th jaw at 9 o’clock position, hub opening for overhead, closure plate or plain top for underground.
200 Amp 2 Position Single Phase 3 Wire—4 terminal, weatherproof, 200-amp jaw-clamping lever-operated bypass per position, ringless, screwless cover, hub opening for overhead, closure plate or plain top for underground.

Approved Meter Sockets—List of Manufacturers

Landis and Gyr, Milbank, T&B, Anchor, Durham, Siemens, Square D, Cutler Hammer and Midwest Electric are examples of UL approved metering equipment providers.

Sample Part Numbers
Millbank U-4801-XL-5T9
Siemens Drawing 48804, PN 48804-02NU
Sample Meter Spec

In limited instances, a Cold Sequence Metering Assembly for 480V service installations rated 200 Amp or less is available with Minnesota Power approval. Consult your Customer Service Representative.

Meter Location

Outdoor metering is required for all installations unless prior approval is given.
  • For outdoor installations the center line of all meters shall be between four and six feet from the finished grade.
  • When a meter room is being used, such as for an apartment building, locate meters in the basement or another suitable and readily accessible place as near as possible to the point where the service enters the building. Each meter position shall be marked on the outside of the socket or by the breaker (if available) with the address of the unit served.
  • A minimum three feet of unobstructed working space, as measured from the surface on which it is mounted, should be maintained in front of the meter, and a minimum of 12 inches of unobstructed space should be maintained on all sides of the meter cover. Ample space shall be provided for all meters, metering equipment and other apparatus so that they can be safely read, inspected and tested.

Please call Minnesota Power’s Meter Department at 1-800-228-4966 or 218-355-2516 for questions regarding sockets.

*Note: Your local or state electrical code may have additional requirements.

Instrument Rated Metering

Minnesota Power Supplied Equipment:

  • CTs and VTs (current transformers and voltage transformers)
  • Meter bases (CT installation)
  • Supply and install control wire in customer’s conduit
  • Meter shack, if necessary

*Note: Single phase services exceeding 320A or in excess of 240V require instrument-rated metering. All services exceeding 200A three phase require instrument-rated metering. For any services exceeding 480V, either single or three phase, consult a Minnesota Power representative for guidance. Both EMI and AMP manufacture Minnesota Power approved instrument rated meter enclosures with part numbers beginning with “MNP.” Use of any other enclosure requires prior approval of Minnesota Power’s Meter Engineer.

Temporary Metering Requirements

Minnesota Power will allow non bypass for temporary service installation of less than one year duration.

Your site will be reviewed to determine the nearest power source and meter location options for the installation of your new electric service. Unless customer voltage needs cannot be met, Minnesota Power distribution facilities will be located as far as 300 feet from your electrical service panel. Minnesota Power facilities will be located in a truck accessible location to ensure ongoing access for maintenance. Design and installation of Minnesota Power facilities will be determined by Minnesota Power personnel and will be constructed according to Minnesota Power Engineering Standards and the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC).

Overhead Installation—Three Phase

Overhead installation is the overhead electrical power line from Minnesota Power’s utility pole to your meter location. The customer is responsible for sizing, purchasing, installing and maintaining the meter enclosure, riser pipe, weatherhead and Point of Attachment (POA).

The POA shall be located at a point readily accessible to Minnesota Power’s distribution mains or service drop. The POA shall be of sufficient mechanical strength to support the wind- and ice-loaded weight of the service drop and shall be located as determined in conjunction with your Minnesota Power representative.

When multiple conduit risers or service masts are installed to support a single electric entrance, it is the customer’s responsibility to provide the connector that ties the customer’s conductors (wires) together and allows for a single point of connection to Minnesota Power’s conductors.

Underground Installation—Three Phase

The customer or electrical contractor is responsible for sizing, purchasing, installing and maintaining the underground conductor (cable), meter enclosure conduit, weatherhead (if applicable) and all other associated material needed from the customer’s electric service equipment to Minnesota Power’s point of service.

Connecting to Ground-mounted Facilities—Three Phase

When connecting private underground service cable to Minnesota Power’s ground-mounted facilities, the customer will provide, own and maintain the cable.

Service is less than or equal to 320 amps

The customer shall dig and install private underground service cable to within one foot of any side of the secondary pedestals or the front right side of a pad-mounted transformer, leaving a minimum of six feet of cable above ground for connection purposes. Minnesota Power personnel will dig the remaining trench length, dig under the transformer or secondary pedestal and connect the cable to the transformer or secondary pedestal.

Service is greater than 320 amps

The customer shall dig and install private underground service cable to within one foot of any side of the secondary pedestals or the front right side (the front is the side where the lock is located) of a pad-mounted transformer, leaving a minimum of six feet of cable above ground for connection purposes. Minnesota Power personnel will de-energize the transformer or secondary pedestal. The customer will dig the remaining trench length, dig under the transformer or secondary pedestal, and in conjunction with Minnesota Power personnel, connect the cable to the de-energized transformer or secondary pedestal.

Short Circuit Currents

Voltage and Phase kVA % Impedance Short Circuit AMPs
120/240 - 1PH 10 2 2,083
15 2 3,125
25 2 5,208
50 2.5 8,333
75 2.5 12,500
100 2.5 16,667
167 2.5 27,833
240/480 - 1PH 25 2 2,604
37.5 2 3,906
50 2.5 4,166
75 3.5 6,250
100 2.5 8,333
120/208 - 3PH 45 2 6,252
75 2 10,421
150 2.5 16,674
225 2.5 25,011
300 2.5 27,790
277/480 - 3PH 45 2 2,709
75 2 4,515
112.5 2.5 5,419
150 2.5 7,225
225 2.5 10,838
300 2.5 12,042

For transformers 500 kVA and greater, consult with your Minnesota Power Representative. Short circuit currents are maximum available based on an infinite bus source and no additional impedance. Impedance values are an average of field numbers of transformers used in the Eveleth Service Center. For situations such as mixed banks and open delta banks, use the three phase transformer size equal to three of the largest single phase transformers present for the maximum available short circuit.

Transformer Pad Specifications—Three Phase

The customer will be required to furnish a transformer pad for all three phase installations requiring a padmount transformer and for all single phase installations requiring a 100 kVa or larger padmount transformer.

Meter Location

Outdoor metering is required for all installations unless prior approval is given.
  • For outdoor installations the center line of all meters shall be between four and six feet from the finished grade.
  • When a meter room is being used, such as for an apartment building, locate meters in the basement or another suitable and readily accessible place as near as possible to the point where the service enters the building. Each meter position shall be marked on the outside of the socket or by the breaker (if available) with the address of the unit served.
  • A minimum three feet of unobstructed working space, as measured from the surface on which it is mounted, should be maintained in front of the meter, and a minimum of 12 inches of unobstructed space should be maintained on all sides of the meter cover. Ample space shall be provided for all meters, metering equipment and other apparatus so that they can be safely read, inspected and tested.

Please call Minnesota Power's Meter Department at 1-800-228-4966 or 218-355-2014 for questions regarding sockets.

*Note: Your local or state electrical code may have additional requirements.

Instrument Rated Metering

Minnesota Power Supplied Equipment:

  • CTs and VTs (current transformers and voltage transformers)
  • Meter bases (CT installation)
  • Supply and install control wire in customer’s conduit
  • Meter shack, if necessary

*Note: Single phase services exceeding 320A or in excess of 240V require instrument-rated metering. All services exceeding 200A three phase require instrument-rated metering. For any services exceeding 480V, either single or three phase, consult a Minnesota Power representative for guidance. Both EMI and AMP manufacture Minnesota Power approved instrument rated meter enclosures with part numbers beginning with “MNP.” Use of any other enclosure requires prior approval of Minnesota Power’s Meter Engineer.

Temporary Metering Requirements

Minnesota Power will allow non bypass for temporary service installation of less than one year duration.

Metering at currents greater than 320 Amperes single phase and 200 Amperes three phase, or voltages greater than 240 Volts shall be accomplished using current and voltage instrument transformers (CT’s and VT’s) installed in approved, listed busbar type metering cabinets. The cabinet shall be provided by the Customer.

In limited installations, with prior approval of MP meter engineer, 480 Volt loads less than 200 Amperes may be metered using a Cold Sequence Self Contained Meter Socket. This enclosure includes a 200 Ampere circuit breaker ahead of the meter socket. This allows the meter to be installed and removed from a de-energized circuit. These units are to be used for installations at unoccupied locations or structures for smaller loads which would present metering inaccuracies such as agricultural pumping. A single Meter Socket will be provided and installed by Minnesota Power on the transformer riser pole or on a post adjacent to the pad mounted transformer. The circuit breaker and meter enclosures will be sealed with a Utility ring lock. The Customer must agree to accept power outages for meter service and testing. If multiple or remotely located meter installations meeting this load criteria are required, Customer shall provide a lockable circuit breaker or a fused or solid blade disconnect switch ahead of the meter socket(s) which meets the prior approval of the Minnesota Power Meter Engineer.

Two types of metering cabinets are commonly used:
  • A “Transition Cabinet” is required for a service which requires more than four conductors per phase. The Transition Cabinet may be mounted on the transformer slab or adjacent to the transformer pole. For a Transition Cabinet, the point of service is defined as the line side terminals in the Transition Cabinet. The conductors between the transformer and the Transition Cabinet are supplied by the Utility. A Transition Cabinet may include breaks in the busbars for installation of current transformers. If Current Transformers are installed, the meter socket is to be mounted on the outside of the Transition Cabinet.
  • A “Current Transformer Cabinet” (CT Cabinet) may be mounted on a building wall, posts, or other structure near the transformer or riser pole. For a CT Cabinet, the point of service is defined as the load side terminals of the Utility transformer. The conductors between the transformer and the CT Cabinet are supplied by the Customer/Contractor. A CT Cabinet must include busbars with openings for the Current Transformers. Meter sockets are normally installed on the outside of the CT Cabinet or must be mounted outside of the building if the metering cabinet or switchgear is installed inside the building.

It is preferred that the supply conductors attach to the top section of busbars in cabinets having vertical busbars and to the left section of busbars having horizontal busbars. However, exceptions may be made to this requirement to meet field conditions with the prior approval of the Minnesota Power Meter Engineer. The grounded conductor busbar shall be bonded to the metering cabinet and sized according to the National Electric Code.

For 480Y/277 Volt metering applications in CT cabinets, the Voltage Transformers (VT’s) shall be installed in a separate enclosure attached directly to the metering cabinet. In no case, will the VT’s be allowed to be installed loose in the metering cabinet, attached to the top of the CT cabinet, or in a location which will impede the installation or servicing of the load conductors.

Transition/Metering Cabinet Installation Requirements

  1. Services having more than four conductors per phase will require a Transition Cabinet. This cabinet is to allow for a clean connection point between the customer and the Utility. It also assists in the correct sizing of the transformers for the present load and allows ease of transformer change out as well as permitting the customer to add additional circuits at a later date should the load increase.
  2. The Transition Cabinet should be located on the same slab as the padmount transformer or near but no closer than 10 feet to the riser pole for an overhead transformer bank. The service conductors supplied by Minnesota Power should not be longer than 15 feet (not including the riser portion for an overhead transformer bank). The Transition Cabinet shall be secured to the concrete with anchor bolts.
  3. For Transition Cabinets, the Utility will provide the current and voltage transformers, the meter socket, the ground sleeve for the transformer, the conduit and cable between the pad mounted transformer and the Transition Cabinet, and cable lugs for both ends of the Utility supplied conductors. The Customer/Contractor will install the ground sleeve for the transformer, the conduit between the transformer and Transition Cabinet, and the CT’s, VT’s, and meter socket. The Utility will install its conductors between the transformer and the Transition Cabinet.
  4. For CT Cabinets, the Utility will provide the current and voltage transformers, the meter socket and the ground sleeve for the transformer. The Customer/Contractor will install the ground sleeve for the transformer and the CT’s, VT’s, and meter socket.
  5. The Customer/Contractor will provide and install the cable from the Transition Cabinet or CT Cabinet to the customer premise, as well as the Transition or CT Cabinet, connection lugs for the customer conductors, and reinforced concrete slab for the transformer and Transition Cabinet (if used).
  6. Minnesota Power will lock the Transition/Metering Cabinet with a standard Company lock. If the metering cabinet is outside, the meter socket will be located on the outside of the cabinet. If the metering cabinet is inside, the meter socket is to be installed outside the building unless approved in advance by the Company Meter Engineer. The contractor shall install the CT’s, VT’s, and meter socket. A minimum 1” trade size conduit shall be provided between the metering cabinet and the meter socket. Minnesota Power personnel will connect the metering circuits.

Leasing outdoor lighting from Minnesota Power is quick, easy and economical. You can select an area light, which gives you a wide circle, or a floodlight to direct the illumination in one direction. Minnesota Power will install, replace and maintain your outdoor and area lighting service. The customer will agree to rent the area lights and necessary poles for a minimum of six months.

Contact Minnesota Power at 1-877-535-0394 or 218-720-2644 for information on outdoor and area lighting services. If interested, complete form 4789.

Options for Lighting

High Pressure Sodium

  • 8,500 lumen area light (100-watt)
  • 14,000 lumen area light (150-watt)
  • 23,000 lumen area light (250-watt)
  • 23,000 lumen area floodlight (250-watt)
  • 45,000 lumen area floodlight (400-watt)

Metal Halide

  • 17,000 lumen floodlight (250-watt)
  • 28,800 lumen floodlight (400-watt)
  • 88,000 lumen floodlight (1000-watt)

Depending on the customer's needs, there may be a pole rental fee associated with the installation.

A well-prepared application and site, along with good communication with your Minnesota Power representative, is the best way to keep your project on track. The amount of time it takes to complete the installation depends on a variety of factors. The work order will not be released for scheduling until all required items on the checklist have been received. A minimum of two weeks should be expected before the work will begin. Weather, changing site conditions, pending service work already scheduled, extent of work to bring supply lines to property, restrictions such as permits and right-of-way, and other unforeseen circumstances all may delay progress.

Scheduling questions can be directed to your local Minnesota Power representative and/or Minnesota Power central dispatching area at 218-720-2757.

Minnesota Power customers planning to install customer-owned generation on their home or business must first read and understand Minnesota Power’s interconnection guidelines. The specific Interconnection Guideline that applies will depend on the type, size, and operating mode of the generation that is proposed. Customers installing distributed generation systems of 10 MW or less must follow the “State of Minnesota Interconnection Process for Distributed Generation Systems” and the “State of Minnesota Distributed Generation Interconnection Requirements.” These documents can be found on the Distributed Generation website: www.mnpower.com/CustomerService/DistributedGeneration.

Upon receiving an interconnection application, Minnesota Power will conduct a Preliminary Review of the service and the proposed system including an Engineering Study, if applicable. Because each installation is unique, interconnection applications will not be approved prior to a Preliminary Review. During this review, a Minnesota Power representative will assess the current service and identify site specific conditions that may affect the installation. All equipment from the utility transformer to the customer’s service equipment will be evaluated and the customer will be notified if upgrades are required.

Conditions:

The standards and requirements for installing distributed generation along with the available rates will vary based on the type, size and operating mode of the system that is being installed.

How to Participate:

For more information, contact Minnesota Power’s Renewable Programs at 218-355-3236 or visit www.mnpower.com/Environment/Solar.

Instructions for Completing the Application Form

Below are detailed instructions for completing each section of the application. If you have questions after reading this information, please call the New Construction Center at 1-877-535-0394 or 218-720-2644.

Contact and Billing Information

Please provide the name of the person that we can speak with about the details and coordination of your project. Also provide the name and/or names of the person that will be billed for the kilowatt hour usage once the electric meter has been installed.

Project Location

Please provide the address (i.e., 123 Main St, Anytown, MN) of your site as listed on your building permit. If you do not have an address, contact the county where your building site will be located.

County Website addresses:

US Postal Service: https://www.usps.com

If you have difficulty in receiving an address, please provide us the nearest neighboring address and a legal description, including a parcel number.

Project Timeline

Minnesota Power will make every effort to meet your project deadline. Please provide us the date that you need the electric power installed. An actual date is required in this field (ASAP or Immediately are not considered valid dates). Remember that we are usually scheduled out two to four weeks and that it takes time to process your request.

Service Load Specifications

Service Load Specifications This is the most crucial portion of your request. For Minnesota Power to design the installation of facilities, we need to know your electric load requirements. Please have your electrical engineer or electrician provide you this information. If we do not have the correct information additional time, labor and costs could become an issue. See Form 3659 - Electric Utility Load.

Authorization

A signature (or an electronic signature) is required to move forward with your project.

Certified Map or Site Plan

Please provide a Certificate of Survey and/or Utility Plan. If a survey map is not available, please provide a detailed sketch showing property lines, existing structures, proposed structures, any private underground facilities (i.e., well, septic, private underground power to other structures, etc.), setbacks, distance of all structures from property lines, overall dimensions of all structures and proposed work.

New Construction Center

  • Toll Free Area Wide: 1-877-535-0394
  • Duluth Area: 218-355-2644
  • Outside Duluth Area: 218-720-2644

24-hour Customer Service and Questions About Your Bill

  • Toll Free Area Wide: 1-800-228-4966
  • Duluth Area: 218-722-2625

Lights Out

  • 24-hour Automated Outage Reporting: 1-800-30-POWER (1-800-307-6937)

Automated Meter Reading Reporting

  • 1-888-30-METER (1-888-306-3837)

Shareholder Services

  • Toll Free Area Wide: 1-800-535-3056
  • Duluth Area: 218-723-3974

TTY/TDD

  • Hearing Impaired Customer Service: 1-800-367-3180

ALLETE

  • 218-279-5000