Prepare for more powerConstruction began on a project two years in the making this week in Bowman, Billings and Slope counties.
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
Construction began on a project two years in the making this week in Bowman, Billings and Slope counties.
The 74-mile, 230-kilovolt transmission line from Belfield to Rhame, which was announced in 2007, will lower the stress put on existing transmission lines in the area, said Daryl Hill, Basin Electric Power Cooperative media relations supervisor.
“What it means to the area is that when this line goes in service the stability and reliability of the entire transmission system will be enhanced,” Hill said. “Because of the growing demand for electricity, or the growing loads, that area had been putting a strain on the transmission system and it’s running at near max.”
The transmission line will be suspended above the ground using 524 galvanized steel tower structures, 1.2 million feet of conductor and 1,407 support arms at a cost of $39.8 million.
Hill said once the line was announced there were several things that had to fall into place, including where the line would be located and how it would be constructed.
The first part of the construction process is installing access gates in fencelines near where the towers will be. Fences will be put up where construction material is stored. If a landowner requests the fence remains after construction is complete, it will be left, said Duey Marthaller, project coordinator.
Fencing begins near Rhame and ends near Belfield.
The next step is foundation installation. This
is followed by tower assembly, drilling holes for tower erection, stringing conductor and final check out, Marthaller said.
Transmission substations are planned for Rhame and Belfield as part of the project.
Marthaller said he’s ready to get started.
“Now that we have all the permits in hand, I’m excited about starting this phase of the project,” Marthaller said. “People use electricity 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The increasing demand is putting a strain on the transmission system in this part of the state.
“This line will greatly improve the reliability of the transmission system in the southwest part of North Dakota.”
The North Dakota Transmission Authority, through the Bank of North Dakota, is financing $25 million of the cost. The loan will be repaid over 20 years.