BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Basin Electric is hoping to supercharge it’s high-voltage transmission efforts in the state through various projects the group plans to undergo in the coming years — including over 350 feet of power lines and stations.

During an annual study by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the group typically assess the five-and-ten-year reliability, economic, and policy needs of the state’s transmission system. When any needs are identified as a result of these studies, stakeholders such as Basin Electric submit project proposals to meet them — and these proposals are then viewed by the SPP. Those that are approved. The most recent batch of projects which cleared the SPP’s assessments total to an investment of almost $725 million — with most of these funds going to support high-voltage infrastructure to be added to the state.

This year, five projects were approved by the SPP, four of which concern power in North Dakota. Here’s an overview of each project, and when you can expect to see these new implementations fully-charged and ready to go.

  • The Neset-to-Northshore project will include a 230-kilovolt 27-mile-long transmission line and a substation called Northshore located between New Town and Tioga. Construction is expected to be completed before the end of the year, and the line will be energized in January 2023.
  • The Roundup-to-Kummer Ridge transmission line, spanning 35 miles and 345 kilovolts of power, will be located north of Killdeer and is set to be energized in 2025. The final date of energization depends on Basin Electric’s ability to acquire easements and permits.
  • The Leland Olds Station-to-Tande 345 kilovolt transmission project includes 175 miles of transmission line and a new 345/115 kilovolt substation. This line is intended to originate at the Leland Olds Station near Stanton, continue around the east end of Lake Sakakawea, and travel west before ending at the Tande substation near Tioga. The project is expected to energize in 2025, depending on Basin Electric’s ability to acquire easements and permits.
  • The East Fork substation will be constructed near Wheelock, which will intersect an existing transmission line and add a new delivery point for Basin Electric’s Class C member Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative. This new location is set to be energized in 2024.

In addition to these four ND-based projects, one — identified by the SPP’s Aggregate Transmission Service process, was deemed necessary to provide additional transmission into Saskatchewan, Canada via a joint operation between Basin Electric and SaskPower. The Wheelock-to-Saskatchewan and Tande-to-Saskatchewan lines, 50-mile and 60-mile 230-kv lines of transmission, will connect to SaskPower transmission equipment on the Canadian border, where the circuit will be completed.

Todd Telesz, Basin Electric chief executive officer and general manager, said providing reliable electricity is a priority in a press release. “As western North Dakota grows, the electric transmission grid must grow with it, and Basin Electric is committed to serving our members as their need for electricity continues to increase,” Telesz said. “This commitment, along with our all-of-the-above strategy for generating electricity to include natural gas, coal, wind, recovered energy generation, market purchases, and soon solar, ensures we provide reliable, affordable, and responsible electricity. Basin Electric’s membership has supported energy booms across our service territory and our cooperative network of distribution, generation, and transmission has built and continues to support what our nation needs to thrive.”

Basin Electric must secure all permits and authorizations from all affected federal, state, and local jurisdictions before any construction can begin. The company’s right-of-way teams are currently in contact with landowners in the area of the Leland Olds Station-to-Tande and Roundup-to-Kummer Ridge transmission lines, and will reach out to landowners regarding the Wheelock-and-Tande-to-Saskatchewan lines in the coming weeks.

Basin Electric is a consumer-owner, regional power cooperative based in Bismarck. For more information on the company, visit this page.