PIERRE -- —The state Public Utilities Commission gave its approval today for a revised permit and conditions for Otter Tail Power to participate in constructing a new high-capacity transmission line for electricity in eastern South Dakota.
The plan has two parts directly involving Otter Tail and is part of a bigger transmission project that also involves Northern States Power Minnesota.
Otter Tail plans to build two 235-kilovolt transmission lines, each 1.5 miles long, from the Big Stone plant substation to a new Big Stone South substation.
Otter Tail also would build 28 miles of new 345-kilovolt line from the new substation to a point near Gary to connect with the Granite Falls transmission line.
Otter Tail’s components were previously approved by the PUC in a 2006 permit for a different transmission project.
That was planned in conjunction with a major expansion of the Big Stone electricity plant. The plant expansion was canceled in 2009.
Otter Tail and Northern States Power Minnesota, however, now plan a 70-mile transmission project between NSP’s Brookings County substation and the Big Stone substation. It will use some pieces of the previous plan.
NSP meanwhile needs to file application for its portion of the new project. The estimated cost for the entire 70-mile project is $227 million, according to Otter Tail officials.
It one of 16 projects planned by utilities to improve transmission service and capacity in the Midwest.