Basin Electric directors approve long-range engineering plan

The Basin Electric board of directors approved the 2023-2032 long-range engineering plan (LREP), as presented by Gavin McCollam, Basin Electric vice president of Engineering and Construction, during the August meeting.

The LREP includes a preliminary look at capital projects that may be considered for approval in the next 10 years, with increased detail available for the first three years of the plan.

More than $900 million is expected to be spent on all facilities over the next 10 years, with more than half of the money going toward the transmission system — including new transmission lines and upgrades to existing facilities.

“We continue to concentrate on our transmission system maintenance to ensure we provide reliability and safety for our member systems,” McCollam said. “Through 2025, we anticipate spending about $200 million on transmission and optical network upgrades in North Dakota and South Dakota. We also anticipate new generation to cost more than $115 million.”

These costs are integrated into the financial forecast and capital budget.

The LREP is completed for the benefit of the cooperative's members. When Basin Electric borrowed money from Rural Utilities Service, the plan was used as reporting for that purpose as well. Basin Electric bought out of Rural Utilities Service in 2015, but has elected to continue to prepare the LREP as a planning tool.