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Basin Electric plans line in western ND oil patch

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A big player in North Dakota's coal country is moving into the state's oil patch.

Bismarck-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative owns two coal-fired power plants. Basin plans to build a 190-mile electrical transmission line to fuel a growing demand for power in the oil patch.

The proposed line would run from the Antelope Valley Station near Beulah to the Williston and Tioga region, where nearly 90 oil rigs are drilling. The line will need the approval of regulators. Construction could start in 2014.

Basin also plans a natural gas-fired "peaking" plant near Williston. Such plants typically run primarily when there is a high demand for electricity.

Basin supplies power to 135 rural electric systems in the Dakotas and seven other states.