Upgrades at Antelope Valley Station increase reliability

Antelope Valley Station, a coal-fueled dispatchable generation facility located near Beulah, North Dakota, is making some equipment upgrades as part of Basin Electric’s Aging Substation Infrastructure Replacement Initiative. Basin Electric implemented the initiative in 2018 as the cooperative’s approach to strengthen and modernize its transmission infrastructure and help ensure reliability for the cooperative’s members

“Upgrading equipment and components helps to improve transmission system reliability by decreasing the chances of equipment failures, mis-operations, and extended outages due to a lack of spare parts,” said Chad Kuntz, Basin Electric supervisor of Electrical Engineering. To that end, Antelope Valley is replacing aging equipment in the facility’s substation with newer more modern equipment. 

“Antelope Valley Station is over 40 years old and there are several pieces of substation equipment that have reached the end of serviceable life,” said Ryan Drevlow, Basin Electric electrical engineer III. “Many of the manufacturers of the existing equipment are no longer in business which make procuring spare parts difficult to impossible. Because of this, maintaining the existing equipment becomes more difficult.” 

High voltage circuit breakers, disconnect switches, instrument transformers, surge arresters, and station service equipment are just some of the items to be replaced. Pending material delivery, the equipment upgrade project is scheduled to be completed in phases by the end of 2028. 

“Technology in the utility industry has evolved significantly since Antelope Valley was built,” said Drevlow. “This project will increase reliability of the substation by installing equipment in line with today’s industry standards.”

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