Basin Electric Power Cooperative is one of the few utilities that supply electricity on both sides of the national electric system separation. The two systems arose because the transmission system developed from the population centers on the coasts inward.
Direct-current (DC) ties or interties bridge the national electric system separation by taking alternating current electricity on one side, converting it to direct current, and then converting it back to alternating current so that it is in sync with the alternating current of the other side of the system separation.
Every generator east of the electrical transmission separation drives and affects that system and every generator west of the separation drives and affects that system. Electricity is generally transmitted at alternating current of 60 Hertz (cycles) per second. The slightest upset such as an electric generating unit abruptly separating from the system changes the standard 60 Hertz per second just slightly so the two systems are not synchronized and therefore cannot be connected directly. Connecting the systems would cause several system disconnects because protective devices for the facilities that are basically big circuit breakers would activate.
Basin Electric and subsidiaries are a diversified energy group that generate electricity from coal, wind, waste heat, gas and oil. Our major subsidiary, Dakota Gasification Company (Dakota Gas), produces natural gas and byproducts from the coal gasification process.
Legislators, regulators, and consumers are engaged in an ongoing dialogue about the cost of siting and building new transmission.
Electricity generally cannot be stored, so it must move instantly over transmission lines from producer to buyer to avoid spot interruptions in service and even blackouts. Basin Electric owns 2,165 miles and maintains 2,250 miles of high-voltage transmission lines; 70 switchyards and substations that direct the flow of electricity and change its voltage; and 149 telecommunication sites with approximately 262 miles of new transmission in the planning stages.
Energy supply must be in balance with energy demand on the transmission grid at all times or brown-outs and black-outs will occur.
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The focus of the North America Electric Reliability Corporation's (NERC) compliance program is to improve the reliability of the bulk power system in North America by fairly and consistently enforcing compliance with NERC standards. Specifically, the program is designed to ensure that the right practices are in place so that the likelihood and severity of future system disturbances are substantially reduced, while recognizing that no standards or enforcement process can fully prevent all such disturbances from occurring.
In the United States, NERC and the eight regional entities charged with compliance enforcement monitor compliance via a number of methods, including regular and scheduled compliance audits, random spot checks, and specific investigations as warranted by indications that a standard may have been violated.
Q. What is postage-stamp pricing?
A. A pricing methodology proposed for which transmission users all pay the same rate to send electricity anywhere in the region. This pricing method facilitates needed transmission system improvements because all users pay equitably in proportion to their use.