Two utilities to build a new substation and power line in northeastern North Dakota
Two utilities are building a new 115 kilovolt electric substation and a six-mile long power line, to serve customers in Walsh and Grand Forks counties.
Otter Tail Power and Minnkota Cooperative are proposing the facilities.
The projects have been given approval by the North Dakota Public Service Commission.
"Otter Tail noted that the load growth in northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota is causing the current system to approach its maximum capacity," said Commissioner Sheri Haugen-Hoffart.
The original project cost was $6.5 million. But Haugen-Hoffart said the revised cost is $10 million.
PSC Chairman Randy Christmann said that increased figure caused some concerns.
"They talked about contractors coming in at more than they expected," Christmann said. "How much of that was because they waited too long with going to bids? I don't know. Why is it up so much in a couple of months?"
Christmann voted for the approval – even though he said he was “frustrated” with the cost.