Cooperatives celebrate new $20 million transmission line

Posted: Feb 28 2020
Verendrye Electric Cooperative and Central Power Electric Cooperative celebrated the completion of a $20 million transmission line improving electrical reliability and capacity for Minot, the Air Force Base and rural areas.

Central Power, Verendrye’s transmission cooperative, completed a 115,000-volt transmission line that is 26.8 miles long. IRC2.20CentralPowerTransmissionLine.jpgt starts southwest of Minot at a bulk delivery substation, heads north and then connects to a substation east of Ruthville. Verendrye Electric uses the line to serve the area.

“This project is a tremendous addition to the electrical infrastructure in the greater Minot area, including the Minot Air Force Base and even beyond to the farms, ranches and communities of Ward, Renville, Bottineau and McHenry counties,” said Tom Meland, manager of Central Power. “It really is a wide-ranging beneficial project.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Feb. 19 at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, which is also served by Verendrye Electric. The Ranch was instrumental during construction of the project by allowing Central Power to obtain easements.
Sen. John Hoeven, who said he has been a member of Verendrye Electric for around 50 years, attended the event.

“This new transmission line is a great example of why we fund the USDA’s loan and grant programs, to provide infrastructure that will meet the demands of a growing economy and ensure that residents have access to essential service, regardless of their Zip code,” Hoeven said.

The project was funded by loans from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), which is an agency within the USDA. Hoeven sits on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee.

The new transmission line completes a 115-kV loop around Minot, adds another bulk electric delivery source and reinforces a loop that extends to the Newburg, Bottineau and Towner areas. The project significantly benefits the Minot Air Force Base, which Verendrye Electric serves.

“This provides additional capacity to the region for years to come and provides another bulk delivery substation that services the base,” said Randy Hauck, general manager of Verendrye Electric.

Sen. Hoeven also commented on how area leaders and cooperatives have worked hard to grow their communities.
“This is such a wonderful community because of what you do and because you are willing to keep doing it and bring in the next generation,” Hoeven said. “It’s so important. That’s the whole story of the RECs and RTCs and what they’ve done in rural America.”

Mayor Shaun Sipma credited the cooperatives for having the foresight to improve reliability and expand capacity for future growth.

“Verendrye has been a substantial benefit to have as a partner throughout our entire region for capacity building over a number of years,” Sipma said.
About Central Power Electric Cooperative
Central Power is a wholesale power supply and transmission cooperative organized in 1949 to supply power for its member cooperatives. Today, it is owned by Verendrye Electric and five other distribution cooperatives and its headquarters is in Minot.

It has service territory in 25 counties and $340.4 million in plant investment, including 1,467 miles of transmission lines.

About Verendrye Electric Cooperative
Verendrye Electric Cooperative is a distribution cooperative that was formed in 1939 by a group of farmers who did not have power in the rural areas. The cooperative today serves about 16,500 meters. Its service area includes seven counties, parts of Minot and the Minot Air Force Base.

Verendrye’s headquarters is located in Velva and it has a full service center in Minot and outposts in Harvey and at the Minot Air Force Base. Verendrye has 65 employees.

Verendrye has over $120 million in plant investment, including 4,600 miles of distribution line.