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Welcoming Walle Substation

A new transmission substation south of Grand Forks is set to fortify power reliability for Nodak Electric members this year. Walle substation is one of the largest transmission substations Minnkota Power Cooperative (Nodak’s wholesale power supplier) has built to date. When fully energized in the spring of 2024, it will receive 230-kilovolt (kV) power from Minnkota’s transmission lines, step it down through a transformer and send it on its way as 69-kV electricity for Nodak’s distribution substations.

The new infrastructure is a product of a multiyear Minnkota system study. The study determined that a transmission substation near southern Grand Forks would be critical to keep electric reliability high for a quickly developing region.

“This substation will allow for additional load growth. And reliability is a big factor. The investment is worth it because this will help out in the future,” said Ryan Brorby, Minnkota substation engineering manager. “This will prevent transmission congestion, and we won’t find ourselves in a power bind.”

Many external partners came together to help support Walle substation. Nodak Electric Cooperative was heavily involved in the project, which was happening in the community it serves. The Nodak team set up a new service at the substation site to support the work of Minnkota and its contractors, and it was no simple task – they needed to bury underground line under a road to reach the site. “They were really great to work with, and they did it really quickly,” said Minnkota electrical engineer Kara Laframboise.

The City of Grand Forks also became a strong partner for Walle substation, knowing that a new transmission substation would support goals for economic development. City inspectors visiting the site commented on the remarkable quality of the site work. With so many developments happening around the city in 2023, they were pleased to have an “easy” item to check off the list.

“Everyone says, ‘A substation is getting built,’ and they get a little jumpy about that, thinking it’s going to be this ugly-looking thing,” Brorby said. “What I’ve heard around the community is that everyone was impressed and happy with how the process went.”

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Ice Storm Restoration

Nodak Electric Cooperative’s line crews battled the effects of a significant ice/sleet storm that froze the region Dec. 25-27, 2023. The storm started late on Christmas, producing accumulations of ice on roads, power lines, and nearby trees – causing large-scale power outages to the Nodak system in the ensuing days.

Crews were first dispatched when calls started trickling in for members in the Blanchard, Cummings and Hope areas. The next day, outage numbers continued to climb due to wires slapping together, resulting in breakers opening. Wednesday, Dec. 27, was a challenging day for Nodak’s southern system with many broken power lines and poles reported. At the peak of the outages, a total of 2,244 members lost power, with 200 broken poles that needed to be replaced. It was at this time that Nodak requested mutual aid to help tackle the crippling effects of the ice storm.

The rain finally subsided on Thursday, Dec. 28, giving the line crews slightly improved working conditions. With the help of some very talented lineworkers from North Star Electric Cooperative, PKM Electric Cooperative and Roseau Electric Cooperative, crews got to work on both broken poles and smaller outages that Friday and significant progress was made. By 3:47 p.m. on Dec. 30, power was restored to all residential members.

Thank you to all the lineworkers who worked in less-than-ideal conditions and the employees working tirelessly to restore power to our members. And thank you, North Star Electric Cooperative, PKM Electric Cooperative, and Roseau Electric Cooperative for sharing your talented lineworkers and equipment

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Nodak Distributes RDFC Grant Money To 4 Recipients

Nodak Electric Cooperative is a member of the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC). As a result, communities in our service area are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $3,000 for community-based projects. RDFC is making these funds available so that more people become aware of its larger loan program that funds community-based projects and nonprofit entities with low-interest loans.

RDFC has recently granted $1,500 to McVille Park District-City of McVille to renovate the McVille softball field. Funds will be used to purchase a new backstop and install a permanent fence. New dugouts will be built and the baseball diamond will be transitioned to a softball diamond. 

A $500 grant went to the Lake Region Sportsmen’s Club located in Devils Lake. The club hosted a Youth Ringneck Pheasant Extravaganza during which they released 450 adult pheasants in areas open to public hunting, the evening prior to the state’s youth two-day pheasant season. A banquet was held for all youth hunters and a catered meal and prizes were given to every hunter.

Another $500 grant went to Lakota Elementary School District #66 to support a three-phase accessible playground project located at the elementary school. The mission of this project is to ensure that a safe and accessible playground for everyone is available in the community. Once complete, it will be the only accessible playground within the county.

The final $500 grant went to Park River WCTU Fountain Restoration, Park River. Grant funds will be used to preserve, repair and restore the Park River Women’s Christian Temperance Union Fountain, located at the city park. After the restoration and preservation is complete, the goal is to be able to have the WCTU Fountain listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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Nodak Electric Cooperative

Nodak Electric Cooperative is dedicated to being an efficient provider of quality electric service with leadership that demonstrates the highest regard for its members/owners.

To report an outage call
800-732-4373 or 701-746-4461

Jan/Feb 2024

The Official Publication of Nodak Electric Cooperative

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