Line ready to link Dry Fork plant to the grid

GILLETTE, WYOMING - A transmission line that will connect the Dry Fork Power Plant being built north of Gillette to the power grid is ready to accept electricity.

The $42 million, 136-mile transmission line connects a power substation north of Rozet with a substation west of Gillette and a substation north of Sheridan. The line segments from the substations on either side of Gillette meet at the Dry Fork substation next to the power plant.

Basin Electric spokesman Daryl Hill said the transmission line will strengthen the existing transmission system in northeastern Wyoming.

“There is a pretty good demand on the system in Wyoming and having this line in service now improves the reliability of the system,” Hill said.

Gary Christenson, project coordinator for Basin Electric, said it was needed in the area.

“Demand for electricity continues to grow in this part of the state due to growth in rural areas and energy development in and around Gillette and Sheridan, and it’s putting a strain on the existing transmission system,” Christenson said.

Construction on the project started in fall 2008, but required 18 months beforehand to permit the right of way for the route. It crosses the land of 68 different landowners as well as state and federal land.

“Even though it’s operational, reclamation work will continue into next year,” Christenson said.

The transmission line won’t start operating until the Dry Fork Plant starts working in 2011.

The project received $34.5 million in financing from the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority. The project was the first to receive money from the authority after it was created by the state Legislature in 2004 to improve Wyoming’s electric transmission infrastructure and facilitate the consumption of Wyoming energy.



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