Basin Electric directors approve long-range engineering plan

The Basin Electric board of directors approved the 2021-2030 long-range engineering plan, as presented by Tom Christensen, Basin Electric senior vice president of Transmission, Engineering and Construction, during the September meeting held at East River Electric Power Cooperative headquarters in Madison, South Dakota.

The long-range engineering plan 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 a billion dollars is expected to be spent on all facilities over the next 10 years, with about three-quarters of the money going toward the transmission system.

“We continue to concentrate on our transmission system maintenance to ensure we provide reliability and safety for our member systems,” Christensen said. “Through 2023, we anticipate spending more than $100  million on transmission and reactive support in western North Dakota, optical network upgrades in North Dakota and South Dakota, and an upgrade to equipment in the Antelope Valley Station 345-kilovolt substation. Further out in the 10-year plan, the need for more transmission expenditures is anticipated."

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

The long-range engineering plan is required to be 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.