Planned Transmission Line | VideoRetha Colclasure | 2/13/2013
The Antelope Valley Station in Beulah generates a lot of electricity. That power is needed in northwest North Dakota.
"There`s a lot of oil and gas wells, pumps and motors and retail, commercial, and residential development and a lot of people in general, all of which take a lot of power. The region itself is pretty thirsty for power," said Chris Brostuen with the Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative.
And it`s just getting thirstier. One study shows that in just over 10 years, Basin Electric will need to provide more than one thousand megawatts of power in the northwest part of the state. Putting that in perspective, one megawatt of generating capacity is enough to meet the needs of about 800 residential homes. So one thousand megawatts is enough for 800,000 homes.
"We are obligated to provide them with electricity to meet their needs, growing needs for that power," said Daryl Hill with Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
There are two ways to do that, either build more generation or move power from one place to another. Basin says they`re doing some of both.
"The project on the books is a 345 kilovolt line that runs from AVS to 18 miles west of Killdeer, then north to Williston, and east to Tioga," Hill said.
It`s a 200 mile long transmission line that, in the world of transmission lines, is huge. It`s as big as the biggest line Basin already has in the state.
"We`re hoping to have it online in 2016," Hill said.
The cooperative will file the needed paperwork with the Public Service Commission within about a month. But those in Williston are already excited about the plan.
"We need this new infrastructure in place to meet the needs. Without it we`d be hanging a sign on the door saying we`d be out of power and we can`t meet your needs," Brostuen said.
The line will provide about eight to ten times the electrical capacity the cooperative has right now.
In the way of the planned transmission line are more than 400 landowners that Basin Electric has to sign easement agreements with. And not all of the landowners think that what Basin is offering to build transmission lines on their property is fair.
Tomorrow night, I`ll introduce you to one rancher who says he has a lot of concerns about the transmission line and how Basin wants to pay him for it.