transmission line

A critical piece of the wind plant is the lateral line or T-Line. The T-Line is required to transport the electrical production from a substation to be located in the wind farm south of Summit, to a new substation planned by Ottertail, south of the Big Stone coal plant, called Big Stone South (BSS).

The operator of the SummitWind plant will construct the T-line, the substation on the wind farm, and will pay the cost to integrate into the substation at BSS. The size of this line is planned at 230kV to handle production from Phase One and Phase Two.  TriAxis Engineering, Inc. (triaxiseng.com) was contracted to determine the preliminary design on the T-line facility to BSS.  They have provided sketches of poles 800’ to 1000’ apart and calculated the magnetic and electrical values. The T-Line operator needs to have good access for maintenance and repairs, requiring a 60’ easement (and free of tall trees) on either side of the line. SummitWind’s job is to obtain all the easements along the route from the wind plant to BSS.

SummitWind has contracted Ulteig Engineers (ulteig.com) to obtain the T-line easement.  Most of the field contact has been through Scot Pulse.  Jim, DHan and Scot have enjoyed working as a team attending to the landowners.

This work has some diverse challenges as well:

  • The poles may interfere with farming. We make an effort to determine where pole placement would make the least impact.
  • Older transmission facilities were noisy, used lots of wood poles and raised health concerns. Modern transmission lines have come a long way. They are made out of steel, which is stronger and far more durable than wood. SummitWind's initial transmission facility design calculation indicates it meets SD design standards for magnetic and electrical fields.
  • Our electrical engineers have virtually designed the corona noise out of the line. We have reliable information about EMFs – electromagnetic fields, that shows very low health risk from power lines.
  • We understand that the wires are less than wonderful to look at. SummitWind offers strategic placement of trees and towers to compensate.

SummitWind will try to satisfy every landowner and landowner’s issue for the benefit all - the operator, the Grant County Commissioners, the community and landowner in order to proceed with an efficient and productive development.

Landowners impacted receive an annual payment compensating for the inconvenience of the 6 to 8 poles per mile. SummitWind will also make an extra payment to homeowners who will have poles located close to their homes, and we will make every effort to keep poles out of front yards.

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