Basin Electric line crew re-conductors line southwest of Minot

It’s not a typical project for Basin Electric’s line crew. Normally during the fall, they focus on line maintenance, but recently they worked on a special project: re-conductoring a power line southwest of Minot, ND.

Seven miles of power line were re-conductored from the Logan substation to the southwest Minot substation. The wire was upgraded from 477 to 954, so it’s twice the size to carry more capacity. The seven miles of line totaled 21 miles of conductor. Watch the video.

“The load growth in western North Dakota deemed it necessary to put bigger wire in to carry the load better,” says Vince Smith, Basin Electric transmission line superintendent. “In the end, it’s more reliable electricity for the end user, which means less outages and a more reliable system.”

The project also entailed strengthening a couple of structures along Highway 83. The line crew installed two steel foundation poles on both sides of the highway to keep the power lines from cascading during an ice storm.

Line crews from Minot and Mandan, ND, Groton and Gettysburg, SD, and Gillette, WY, as well as mechanics from Beulah, ND, and Mandan teamed up for this project.

The project started the second week in September. The crew worked for the first 12 days non-stop, even battling wet conditions. Thanks to their hard work and solid teamwork, the project was finished on Sept. 26, well before the one-month project timeline.

Paul Kaiser, Basin Electric assistant line superintendent, says the success of the project is due to the crew and their hard work.

“I can’t emphasize enough how smoothly everything went on this project,” Kaiser says. “Each lineman and mechanic on this project did their task in a very efficient and professional manner. If a situation or issue came up, they handled it professionally and took safety into account when doing so. They’re a great bunch of guys.”

Kaiser also notes the efforts of Dustin Gullickson, lead lineman from the Logan TSM, in coordinating this project. “Dustin really took on this project as his own, and he took great pride in every aspect of it.”

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