These power poles located along the Hillhead road are part of an East River Electric Power project that will help provide more dependable power in the county. Plans also call for the Hillhead substation to be rebuilt.
Project Goal: Provide More Dependable Power
Winter weather and power lines do not go well together, but the East River Electric Power Cooperative is working to help battle those ice-related problems in the Marshall County area.
Those traveling in the eastern part of the county near Hillhead may have noticed new power poles being erected along the roadway. The project is part of a series of improvements to help alleviate potential power outages due to weather.
“The stretch that they are working on in the Hillhead area is part of a bigger line project that will stretch about 45 miles from a Roberts County substation that will be located about eight miles north of Sisseton to the Britton substation,” said Shayla Ebsen, marketing and communication manager for East River Electric Power based out of Madison. “The new line will provide a secondary feed for infrastructure and eliminate a 30-mile oneway line.”
Ebsen said the overall purpose of a series of projects is to provide more option for rerouting power in outage situations.
Plans call for the line project to be completed by the end of March. The Hillhead substation, which was constructed in 1969, will also be rebuilt this summer because of aging conditions. The new substation will have the ability to accommodate continued growth in the area.
In addition, a two-mile line from the Roberts County substation will tie in with the Sisseton substation that will allow the elimination of another 30-mile one way line.
“One-way lines do not give us an opportunity to re-route power,” explained Ebsen. “The two-way lines give us a lot more flexibility. These projects in the Hillhead area, along with the new substation, will greatly benefit Lake Region Electric.”
The new power poles being erected are considerably bigger than those supporting the old line, and Ebsen said there are a couple of reasons for that.
“The bigger poles supporter transmission power lines while the smaller ones are distribution lines for Lake Region Electric in Marshall County,” said Ebsen. “East River is a wholesale power provider and transmits to 25-member cooperatives over a broader area. In order to transmit that amount of power you just need bigger infrastructure.”
Bigger poles also do better in holding up to difficult weather situations.
“Whenever a big storm is coming we know it’s going to hit that Hillhead area hard,” noted Ebsen. “Newer design standards allow our infrastructure to better withstand the elements like ice storms.”
When completed, the East River Electric Power projects should provide customers even more dependable service.
“The purpose of the projects is to improve reliability and provide capacity for future growth in the area,” concluded Ebsen. “Overall, the improvements will strengthen the system.”