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345-kv transmission line will pass through county on way to Alexandria

By Reed Anfinson

Its construction is a long way off and the specific route has yet to be decided, but Otter Tail Power Company and Missouri River Energy Services have been holding public meetings and talking with local governments.

Last Tuesday, Otter Tail’s Tom Langston met with the Swift County Board of Commissioners to give them an overview of a proposal to build a 345-kv transmission line from Big Stone, S.D., to Alexandria.

A segment of the transmission line is likely to pass through Swift County’s western half and may come close to the City of Benson.

It is a very big transmission line – picture the power poles that run along Interstate Highway 94. The new transmission line going to the Alexandria area will connect to those towers, adding a second line for power to the Twin Cities.

Each single pole will have a concrete foundation and average of 150 feet in height. There will be four to six structures per mile and, for now, just one line is proposed for the poles. A second line could be added while the first phase of the project is underway as demand for power in the Twin Cities metropolitan area continues to increase.

While the towers along I-94 are silver galvanized steel, the ones going from Big Stone to Alexandria will be weathering steel, which has a rust-colored look. Langston said the utility thought they would “go a little better in rural communities.”

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