Sunday, September 1, 2013

Antelope Valley Station to Neset Transmission Project - from Basin Electric Power Coop website

North Dakota Transmission

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Antelope Valley Station to Neset Transmission Project

    AVS-Neset 2-13
Proposed Antelope Valley Station-to-WIlliston-Tioga transmission path
Basin Electric has identified the need for additional electric transmission capacity in northwestern North Dakota as a result of increased demand, and to meet reliability and system stability requirements for the region. Investigations and analyses conducted for the overall power delivery systems found that without improvements, the flow of power along existing lines may result in local line overloads, especially in the vicinity of Williston, North Dakota.

To resolve these issues, Basin Electric is proposing to construct, own and operate a new 345-kV transmission line and associated supporting infrastructure. The entire project will consist of constructing approximately 200 miles of new single circuit 345-kV and double circuit 345/115-kV transmission lines, the construction of three new substations, modifications to three existing substations, river crossings, temporary construction staging sites, and other facilities.

The Project would connect to the Integrated System at several locations, including Western Area Power Administration's Williston Substation.

The proposed project would be located in portions of Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer, Mountrail, and Williams counties in western North Dakota.

Project scope

Basin Electric Power Cooperative has proposed construction of a 345-kilovolt transmission line in northwestern North Dakota that will run approximately 200 miles from Antelope Valley Station (AVS) near Beulah, North Dakota, connect to substations near Grassy Butte and Williston, and end at the Neset 345-kV Substation near Tioga, North Dakota.

Why is the line needed?

Increasing demand for electricity is driving the need for additional transmission capacity. Transmission studies have indicated that the current system is reaching its limit, and additional lines are needed. This new 345-kV line will also improve the reliability of the existing system, making a stronger infrastructure throughout the region.

What does the project include?

The AVS to Neset 345-kV Transmission Project includes three major components: approximately 200 miles of 345-kV transmission line, new substations near Williston, Killdeer and Tioga as well as additions to Basin Electric’s Charlie Creek Substation and AVS Switchyard. The major elements required for transmission lines to be constructed include regulatory approvals, surveying, line design, and right of way.

Regulatory Approvals

Both the Rural Utilities Service, acting as the Lead Agency, and Western Area Power Administration, as a Cooperating Agency, are evaluating the 345-kV project thru an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). (Read Jan. 18, 2013 story.) Approval from the North Dakota Public Service Commission is required to site the project. Both the federal and state processes require public notification and public meetings to gather input into their decision making processes. Formal notices of the public meetings will be given through newspapers and radio advertisements in the future.
Project documents are posted on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development website.


Landowners will be contacted to request their permission for property, boundary, biological, terrain mapping, and archeological surveys. Each of these surveys is required for the project. The survey permit form is not an easement and does not obligate the landowner to grant an easement. Biologists will complete the biological survey, thoroughly reviewing the route. Survey work will be done by registered land surveyors to determine the location of section and property corners so easement descriptions can be prepared. Mapping includes high resolution photography and laser mapping of the terrain. Archeologists will inspect for archeological sites by walking the preferred route’s right of way, once it is determined, if possible.

Right of way

The right-of-way width is 150 feet, which is approximately 18.18 acres per mile. The line will consist of mainly single-pole steel structures. Terrain will determine how many structures there will be in a mile, but will likely be 5 to 7 per mile. H-frame structures may be used in areas of high relief. After land values are determined, landowners will be contacted to start the easement acquisition process. Basin Electric staff will give landowners ample time to review and comment on the easement location. Payment for the easement will be made as soon as possible or at a later time, if requested by the landowner.


Construction on the AVS to Neset 345-kV line is scheduled to begin in 2014. If any damages to public and private roads are incurred during construction, they will be repaired. Landowners will be compensated for all crop damage caused by construction activities.


Basin Electric has requested financial assistance for the proposed project from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service (RUS).  Completing the EIS is one of RUS's requirements in processing Basin Electric's application, along with other technical and financial considerations.

Environmental Impact Statement

In accordance with 40 CFR 1501.5(b) of the Council of Environmental Quality’s Regulation for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, The Rural Utilities Service will serve as the lead agency in the preparation of the EIS.  Other agencies and Native American Tribes with jurisdiction or special expertise will be invited to participate as cooperating agencies per §1501.6.