Otter Tail Power Co. has begun work to upgrade the Appleton-Canby transmission line to operate at 115 kV. In March the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the company's application for the 42-mile project, which is necessary to ensure that the Appleton-Dawson-Canby area continues to have adequate transmission facilities to meet customers' growing demand for electricity.
"We already had built nearly all of the southern portion of the line to be capable of operating at 115 kV years ago when we replaced most of those structures," said Al Koeckeritz, project manager. Earlier this month Otter Tail Power Company employees finished the remaining 1.5-mile span to complete the southern section.
Now crews have begun framing poles for the northern section of the line between Appleton and Dawson substations, where existing poles will be replaced with taller ones. The company expects to complete the new pole installation this summer. "We intend to reuse the existing conductor for the project and add a static wire for lightning protection on the new segments," said Koeckeritz
The substation upgrades that are necessary before the line can be energized at 115 kV will be completed in 2008.
"We expect the impact of this project's construction to be minimal because the line will follow existing right-of-way," said Koeckeritz. "However, we urge local residents to be mindful of additional activity near the line and substations this summer."