Transmission lines damaged from summer storms are back in service

Major summer storms from early June to mid July caused severe damage in Basin Electric’s service area, leading to necessary storm restoration. Basin Electric’s Transmission System Maintenance (TSM) team led the restoration efforts on three affected lines and already has them all back in service: the 230-kV Philip-to-Phillip Tap transmission line, the 230-kV Tioga-to-Boundary Dam line, and the 345-kV line that runs from the Leland Olds Station (LOS) Substation to the Groton Substation. All three lines are located in northwestern North Dakota.

The Philip-to-Phillip Tap line was out of service for 15 days, the Tioga-to-Boundary Dam line was out of service for six days, and the LOS-to-Groton line was out of service for 47 days. Restoration for LOS-to-Groton was performed by contractors due to concurrent storm jobs, but TSM oversaw the restoration.

“Power is inherently rerouted on the Bulk Power System. These aren’t distribution connections, so rerouting happens automatically,” said Derik Johnson, Basin Electric manager of TSM. “The system is pretty resilient.”

While restoration is complete on the LOS-to-Groton 345-kV transmission line, cleanup is expected to continue into the fall.

“All of the damaged structures have been rebuilt,” Johnson said. “Now our team is focused on cleanup, which will likely take us through September.”

Between materials, labor, and other expenses, the LOS-Groton 345-kV line restoration project required the largest investment after the summer storms. The estimated project cost is $3.3 million to complete.

“No one wants to have to spend money, but it’s imperative to invest in this project to make sure reliability isn’t impacted,” Johnson said. “At the end of the day, there’s nothing more important that providing reliable energy to our members.”