Power delivery crews finish rebuild projects
Minnkota's crews dodged rain and cold this fall to bring life to more modern substations and transmission lines.
Minnkota’s Power Delivery crews have spent a good portion of the 2019 construction season finding creative ways to work around the consistent rainy, wet conditions.
In October, they’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Crews will energize the completely rebuilt Litchville and Warren substations located in southeast North Dakota. Both substations were originally built during the early days of the electric cooperative movement as Minnkota member Cass County Electric Cooperative was bringing electricity out to farms and ranches.
Minnkota crews have replaced that aging equipment with a new, modern substation to meet the area’s long-term energy needs. In addition to improved reliability of the infrastructure, the rebuilt substations also provide significant benefits in terms of communication. An upgraded computer system, known in the industry as SCADA, will help gather and analyze data, while also monitoring and controlling equipment processes remotely. It’s part of a long-term upgrade project to add smart grid technology at the older substation sites. All new substations have the technology in place.
Minnkota operates and maintains more than 255 substations on behalf of its member cooperatives in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Initiating the rebuild of an existing substation or replacing equipment goes through a meticulous review process where age, location, system demand and many other factors are considered. A construction work plan is developed on an annual basis and approved by a board consisting of representatives from the 11 Minnkota member cooperatives.
In September, Minnkota crews also energized a rebuilt section of 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission line near Roseau, Minn. The 15-mile stretch of line replaced aging infrastructure originally built in the 1950s. The new line is designed for improved performance and reliability.
Main image: Minnkota crews work to rebuild the Litchville substation, which will help improve reliability for electric cooperative members southwest of Valley City, N.D. The rebuilt substation replaces a 1950s-era substation, which had previously been delivering power in the area. (Kevin Jeffrey/Minnkota)