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North Dakota Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (8-ND-c)

In North Dakota, “an Electric Transmission Provider may not begin construction or operation of an Electric Transmission Line interconnecting with an existing Electric Transmission Line owned or operated by an Electric Public Utility without first obtaining a certificate that public convenience and necessity require or will require the construction or operation.” N.D.C.C. § 49-03-01(2).


An Electric Transmission Provider is defined as, “an owner or operator, other than a rural electric cooperative, of a transmission line the costs of which are recovered directly or indirectly through transmission charges to an Electric Public Utility.” N.D.C.C. § 49-03-01.5(4).

An Electric Public Utility is defined as, “a privately owned supplier of electricity offering to supply or supplying electricity to the general public.” N.D.C.C. § 49-03-01.5(2).

An Electric Transmission Line is defined as, “facilities for conducting electric energy at a design voltage of one hundred fifteen kilovolts or greater phase to phase and more than one mile [1.61 kilometers] long.” N.D.C.C. § 49-03-01.5(3).

Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (“Certificate”) are issued by the North Dakota Public Service Commission (“NDPSC”). In issuing a Certificate, NDPSC authorizes the developer to operate an Electric Utility Franchise within the state. NDPSC issues Certificates pursuant to North Dakota Century Code § 49-03.


Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Process

8-ND-c.1 to 8-ND-c.2 – Will the Transmission Line Connect to an Existing Transmission Line Owned by an Electric Public Utility?

A developer may not begin construction or operation of an Electric Transmission Line interconnecting with an existing Electric Transmission Line owned or operated by an Electric Public Utility without first obtaining a Certificate. The Certificate must state that public convenience and necessity requires or will require the construction or operation of said Electric Transmission Line. N.D.C.C. § 49-03-01(2).

NDPSC cannot issue a Certificate to the developer if the existing Electric Public Utility is willing and able to construct and operate a similar Electric Transmission Line. N.D.C.C. § 49-03-02(2).

8-ND-c.3 – Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Application

The developer should submit a Certificate Application (“Application”) to NDPSC. In addition to the Application, the developer must also file a certified copy of the articles of incorporation or charter of the utility, if the developer is a corporation, or a certified copy of the articles of organization of the utility, if the developer is a limited liability company. N.D.C.C. § 49-03-02(1). The NDPSC may charge the developer an Application fee of up to $175,000. N.D.C.C. § 49-03-02(3).

8-ND-c.4 to 8-ND-c.5 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

After receiving an Application, NDPSC reviews the Application for administrative and technical completeness. If the Application is not complete, NDPSC notifies the developer of the deficiencies.

8-ND-c.6 – Provide Notice of Application

After determining the Application is complete, NDPSC provides notice of the Application.

8-ND-c.7 – Is a Public Hearing Requested?

An interested party has twenty (20) days after receiving notice of the Application to request a public hearing on the Application. N.D.C.C. § 49-03-02(1).

8-ND-c.8 – Provide Notice of Public Hearing

If a public hearing is requested, NDPSC schedules a hearing and provides notice of the hearing.

8-ND-c.9 – Conduct Public Hearing

After providing notice, NDPSC conducts a public hearing.

8-ND-c.10 to 8-ND-c.11 – Assess Application

After the hearing, if a hearing is necessary, NDPSC assesses the Application and makes a Certificate determination. In making the determination, NDPSC can either:

  • Issue the requested Certificate;
  • Refuse to issue the Certificate;
  • Issue the Certificate for the construction or operation of a portion of the contemplated facility, line, plant, system, or extension;
  • Issue the Certificate for the partial exercise of the right or privilege sought, conditioned upon the developer having secured or upon the developer securing the consent, franchise, permit, ordinance, or other authority of the proper municipality or other public authority; or
  • Issue the Certificate with any additional terms and conditions as, in the judgment of NDPSC, the public convenience and necessity requires.

N.D.C.C. § 49-03-02(1).

8-ND-c.12 – Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

If NDPSC approves of the Application, it issues a Certificate to the developer. This Certificate serves as the developer's Electric Utility Franchise.

8-ND-c.13 – Appeal Decision

Any party aggrieved by the decision from NDPSC may request a rehearing by NDPSC within thirty (30) days after the order is issued by NDPSC. NDPSC conducts the hearing pursuant to N.D.C.C. § 28-32.


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Edit North Dakota Public Service Commission
Compliance Director (701) 328-4097