BSSE Transmission Line

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About the project

The approximately 160-170 mile 345-kv BSSE Transmission Line will connect a new Big Stone South Substation about three miles west of Big Stone City in Grant County, South Dakota, and a new Ellendale substation about 1.5 miles west of Ellendale in Dickey County, North Dakota. Project owners, Otter Tail Power Company and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., anticipate the project to cost between $293 million and $370 million. The three-year construction period began in 2016.

The projects will:

  • Improve reliability of the regional power system.
  • Increase system capacity to address growth in regional demand.
  • Support public policy by enabling renewable energy to be integrated into the system.
  • Boost regional economies by creating construction jobs and supporting local businesses.

Expand the headings below for more detailed information.

2008-2012: Planning

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO), an independently governed organization tasked with ensuring transmission network reliability and efficiency in the Midwest, conducted planning studies to determine the need for upgrades and changes to the transmission grid. For more than 10 years, MISO studied and incorporated the BSSE project into planning models.

2012-2014: Environmental review and permitting

Following the identification of a preferred route, Montana-Dakota Utilites Co. and Otter Tail Power Company filed applications with the apporpriate regulatory commissions.

  • In August 2013 the project filed a Facility Permit Application with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
  • In October 2013 the project filed a combined Corridor Certificate and Route Permit Application with the North Dakota Public Service Commission.
  • On July 10, 2014, the North Dakota Public Service Commission approved the project and a final route.
  • On August 22, 2014, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission issued Final Decision and Order; Notice of Entry.
2012-2016: Engineering design and right of way

We began initial engineering and design early in project development. In spring 2016 we finalized engineering and design.

Land agents continue to coordinate with landowners along the final route.

2016-2019: Construction

In summer 2016 construction began. To prepare for construction, we finalized easement agreements with landowners and completed the line's design.

Check out the interactive construction map.

2019: Line in-service

We expect the BSSE transmission line to be in service in 2019.

©2017 Otter Tail Power Company and Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.

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