Basin Electric to build nearly 350 miles of transmission

BISMARCK — Basin Electric is on track to energize nearly 350 miles of high-voltage transmission line in western North Dakota by the end of 2026.

The Neset-to-Northshore project, which includes a 230-kilovolt (kV) 27-mile-long transmission line and substation called Northshore between New Town and Tioga, will be energized in January 2023. Construction will be completed before the end of the year.

The project is one of five identified and approved by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

The Neset-to-Northshore project was identified through SPP’s Load Interconnection process and is needed to support load growth specific to the Parshall area.

SPP identified three projects through its Integrated Transmission Planning (ITP) study. SPP’s ITP study is done annually and assesses the five- and 10-year reliability, economic and policy needs of the transmission system. When needs are identified, stakeholders such as Basin Electric submit projects that mitigate the needs in the system. SPP compiles a portfolio of projects that are approved by its board and then assigned to the stakeholders that submitted the projects.

The projects, approved by Basin Electric directors, include:

— Leland Olds Station-to-Tande 345-kV transmission project, which includes 175-miles of 345-kV transmission line and a new 345/115-kV substation. Pending easement acquisition and permitting, the project goal is to energize in 2025. The line will originate at the Leland Olds Station near Stanton, continue around the east end of Lake Sakakawea, and travel west to the Tande substation near Tioga.

— Roundup-to-Kummer Ridge 345-kV transmission line, a 35-mile line north of Killdeer is set to be energized in 2025. Final energization date will depend on easement acquisition and permitting.

— East Fork 345/115-kV substation near Wheelock, which will intersect an existing transmission line and add a new delivery point for Basin Electric Class C member Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative, is set to be energized in 2024.

The fifth project, identified by SPP’s Aggregate Transmission Service process, is required to provide additional transmission capability into Saskatchewan.

— Wheelock-to-Saskatchewan and Tande-to-Saskatchewan, 230-kV transmission lines, will connect to SaskPower transmission equipment at the Canadian border. The lines are about 50 and 60 miles in length, respectively. Basin Electric is the designated transmission owner for the upgrade in the United States, and SaskPower will complete the circuit within Canada. The project will provide export and import capabilities of up to 650 megawatts of electricity, strengthening the local and regional electric system.

The five projects represent an investment of nearly $725 million in high-voltage transmission infrastructure in western North Dakota.

Todd Telesz, Basin Electric chief executive officer and general manager, said providing reliable electricity is a priority.

“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.”

For the Leland Olds Station-to-Tande and Roundup-to-Kummer Ridge transmission lines, Basin Electric’s right-of-way team is in contact with landowners to determine the preferred routes of the lines. The right-of-way team will begin contacting landowners regarding the Wheelock- and Tande-to-Saskatchewan lines in the coming weeks.

Basin Electric must secure permits and authorizations from federal, state and local jurisdictions, such as counties and townships, before construction may begin.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today