Otter Tail Power Company on June 12 said that it and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., expect to complete construction on the Big Stone South-Ellendale 345-kV Transmission Line in late 2018.
When complete, the line will connect the new Big Stone South substation near Big Stone City, S.D., to the new Ellendale substation near Ellendale, N.D., the company said.
The project on June 12 began using helicopters to assist in stringing conductor nine miles west of Big Stone City, the company said, adding that the helicopters will work their way west toward Aberdeen, S.D., then northwest toward Ellendale, N.D.
The project team expects to complete stringing in October 2018, Otter Tail Power said.
According to the project’s website, Otter Tail Power and Montana-Dakota Utilities – the project owners – anticipate that the approximately 160-mile to 170-mile transmission line project will cost between $293m and $370m.
Construction on the project began last summer, according to the site, which also noted that the project is designed to improve reliability of the regional power system; increase system capacity to address growth in regional demand; support public policy by enabling renewable energy to be integrated into the system; and boost regional economies by creating construction jobs and supporting local businesses.