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TSM Linemen - Basin Electric

Linemen at work. Photo courtesy of Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

The North Dakota Transmission Authority was created by the state legislature in 2005 to “facilitate, finance, develop and acquire” transmission in North Dakota.

Internal projections of electric load growth within the Williston Basin made by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., spurred a request to the NDTA to conduct a joint study of the potential growth of electrical demand over 20 years. The study, conducted by the engineering firm KLJ, indicated that electrical demand is expected to nearly triple in the western and north central part of the state by 2032. Population in this part of the state is expected to increase by more than 66,000 people, driving increased residential and commercial electric demand. Electric demand in McKenzie County alone is expected to increase by 339 percent to support Bakken oil field activity.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative has begun construction of a 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line that will stretch 200 miles from the Antelope Valley Station near Beulah, N.D., to substations near Grassy Butte and Williston, N.D. and end near Tioga, N.D. This new 345-kV line will help meet increasing regional electric demand and improve the reliability of the existing system, strengthening the electric infrastructure throughout the region. As an addition to this project, the cooperative is seeking permits to build an additional 60 miles of 345-kV transmission line and three new 345/115-kV substations, scheduled to be operational in late 2016.

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (Midwest ISO) is a voluntary organization comprised of more than 130 members representing the energy generation and transmission sectors in the Midwest and is charged with providing operation of and access to power lines in the Midwestern region and Manitoba.