Q: Will the new transmission line being built for the Casino affect the rates that I’m paying for electricity?
The transmission line will be built by Great River Energy (GRE) and will be part of their overall transmission infrastructure that serves Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) and the other 27 GRE member cooperatives. As such, the cost of the new transmission line and future maintenance expense will be borne by GRE and all of its member systems. There will not be a direct cost allocation or charge to LREC for this new line. As the casino uses the power and energy that is projected, they will pay for the cost of the transmission extension and service.
In short, the cost of the transmission line to the Casino will not affect the rates that you’re paying.
Q: I’ve heard that Lake Region is going to be putting in a new substation to serve the Casino—who is going to pay for that?
The casino is paying upfront for 50% of the cost of the new substation and for 100% of the cost of the LREC distribution facilities needed to serve the entire casino campus. The new substation will serve the casino and about 500 other LREC members in the Star Lake/Dent area. This is a tremendous benefit for our members as without the Casino contribution LREC would not build the new substation facility. The new substation will improve reliability for area members and relieve line and load from four other LREC substations, which in turn will have a positive impact on reliability in the areas served by the other four substations.
In short, there will not be a rate impact or separate charge for LREC members, other than the casino, for building the new distribution facilities.
Q: I’m not happy that the Casino is being built on Star Lake—why is Lake Region Electric providing electricity for it?
The proposed casino has requested electric service in the heart of LREC’s assigned service territory. Under statute, we have an obligation to serve and provide electricity to those requesting service within our territory. However, we can assess fair and reasonable charges and rates necessary to cover the cost of providing that electric service.
Q: I’ve heard you say that the new substation and transmission line will be a good deal for LREC members, why?
We believe that the new substation and transmission lines will provide significant service benefits to area members. The new substation will serve the casino and about 500 other LREC members in the Star Lake/Dent area. This is a tremendous benefit for our members as without the Casino contribution LREC would not build the new substation facility. The new substation will improve reliability for area members and relieve line and load from four other LREC substations, which in turn will have a positive impact on reliability in the areas served by the other four substations. Due to the structure of our agreements with GRE and the casino, we're able to improve system facilities and electric service without any direct charge to our members.
Q: Where will the new substation be located & who will own it?
The new Star Lake Substation will be located just west of highway 41 and south of the proposed Casino site. Lake Region Electric will own the land and the substation.
Q: Will there be two power lines going to the new substation?
There will be a single new transmission line that will be built by Great River Energy that will serve the new substation. We will utilize some of the new line to under build with our distribution network; but there will only be one set of poles coming into or out of the substation. Three new feeders coming out of the substation will be underground and a fourth will be underbuilt on the transmission line; therefore, the single set of poles.
Q: Who is building the transmission line for the substation?
Great River Energy is building the transmission line for the substation. Please refer to the fact sheet for the proposed route.
Q: When will the Casino be complete?
That will be controlled by the management team and contractors associated with the Casino. The information that they have shared with us is that they plan to be open late 2017 or early 2018.
Q: When the Casino is up and running will I have to reduce my electrical usage?
While the Casino is a large load on our system; there will not be any reason related to that to reduce your electrical usage. We have ample distribution infrastructure and electrical supply to support current usage and growth. We’ll always recommend that you conserve electricity to reduce your overall electric bill; but that is independent of anything to do with the Casino.
Q: If I have a question that hasn’t been addressed here—who may I speak with?
You’re welcome to call us at (800) 552-7658 or (218) 863-1171 at any time to discuss this or other issues you may have. This is a member owned Cooperative, you are a direct owner.
Map of Proposed GRE Transmission Line