Transmission and Distribution

Generating energy is the first step in providing electricity to our customers. The second step is to safely, efficiently, and reliably deliver that electricity via our wholly or jointly owned transmission and distribution lines.

Delivering electricity

Throughout our service area you’ll find both transmission and distribution lines.

Transmisson line graphic. It showcases the three steps in delivering electricity which are generation, transmission, and distribution.

  • Transmission lines transport high-voltage electricity long distances from where it’s generated to where it’ll be used. They often run parallel to major highways and interstates.
  • Transformers lower the voltage of electricity for homes and businesses. (Transformers also can increase voltage if needed.)
  • Distribution lines carry low-voltage electricity from transformers to our customers. You’ll find distribution lines in neighborhoods and communities.

Investing in grid resilience

We continue our investments in grid resilience to provide low-cost electricity our customers can count on. As part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s Long-Range Transmission Planning process, we’re partnering with neighboring utilities to develop, construct, and co-own two 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission projects.

BSSA logo

The Big Stone South to Alexandria transmission line (BSSA) will connect our Big Stone South Substation near Big Stone City, South Dakota, and Missouri River Energy Services’ substation in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Learn more about the Big Stone South to Alexandria transmission line.

JETx logo

The Jamestown to Ellendale transmission line project (JETx) will connect our substation in Jamestown, North Dakota, and Montana-Dakota Utilities’ substation in Ellendale, North Dakota.

Learn more about the Jamestown to Ellendale transmission line.

Keeping our communities connected

We’re continuously working to update our existing transmission and distribution infrastructure to better serve our customers. 

Appleton to Benson transmission line

The Appleton to Benson transmission line project will add an approximately 28-mile, 115-kV transmission line between Appleton and Benson, Minnesota. We’re partnering with Great River Energy, Missouri River Energy Services, Benson Municipal Utilities, and Agralite Electric Cooperative to construct this new transmission line.

Learn more about the Appleton to Benson transmission line.

Milbank Area Reliability Project

We're planning to upgrade and expand our existing Milbank Substation and add two new 115-Kv transmission lines: one from the existing Big Stone South Substation to the existing Milbank Substation and another from this same Milbank Substation to a newly proposed breaker station in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota.

Learn more about the Milbank Area Reliability Project.

If you have questions or would like more information about these 115-kV projects, please call our transmission projects team at 218-739-8769.