Transmission projects determined as needed in North Dakota by the Southwest Power Pool

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) conducted an Integrated Transmission Planning study and in 2021 determined the need for extensive new transmission infrastructure in the area.

“The two areas that saw a major need for infrastructure were the Bakken region as well as the Permian Basin down in the New Mexico/Texas area due to the load growth both areas are forecasted to have,” Jeremy Severson, Basin Electric manager of Transmission Services, says. “They saw reliability concerns due to voltage and loading. These projects will strengthen the reliability of the system and provide a good base for load growth to come.”

Severson says the SPP Integrated Transmission Planning study is done annually. “It looks at the five and 10 year reliability, economic, and policy needs of the system. When they identify those needs, they open up a window to allow stakeholders to submit projects that would mitigate those needs in the system. SPP then puts together a portfolio of projects … which is ultimately approved by the SPP board of directors,” Severson says.

In that portfolio of projects, three major transmission projects were identified within Basin Electric’s service area. In May, Basin Electric’s board approved the projects to address the growing need for reliable power. The cost to construct the projects totals about $500 million.

To find out more about the three transmission projects and where they will be located, read Adding major transmission infrastructure in western North Dakota in the Summer 2022 issue of Basin Today

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