A new casino and hotel facility is slated for construction in Star Lake Township. Since this is within our cooperative’s service territory, Lake Region Electric Cooperative has received a request to be the electricity provider. When operational, the facility will become our second largest electric load.
The substantial size of the lodging and entertainment facility will require our wholesale power supplier, Great River Energy, to build 8.75 miles of new 41.6 KV overhead transmission line in Otter Tail County. Additionally, Lake Region will construct a new substation in this area that will also directly benefit approximately 500 existing cooperative members. The new transmission line will serve the new substation. It is important to note that without this new load it would not be possible for Lake Region to justify building a new substation in this area. The benefits of a new substation extend to other cooperative members through improved reliability in the region. Not only will this project bring a substation physically closer to area members, but it will also provide another way to re-route electric service in case of an outage. New load growth benefits our entire cooperative membership since it helps strengthen our economies of scale and spreads fixed costs across a wider and more diverse base. The facility developers/owners will provide a financial contribution-in-aid to construction for the project in accordance with our cooperative’s service extension policy.
Great River Energy and Lake Region have been in meetings with the Star Lake Township board of supervisors and have also talked with landowners along the proposed transmission route. Segments of the transmission line will carry an under-build of new Lake Region distribution lines attached to horizontal cross arms. Wood poles of 60 – 75 feet in height will carry the new transmission and distribution line.
Surveying and design will begin this spring, followed by acquiring easements and environmental permits. Actual construction on the transmission line and substation is scheduled for the winter months of 2016 into summer 2017. The entire project is expected to be fully functional by fall 2017. Specifics about the proposed transmission route can be obtained from our office.