Basin Electric Power Cooperative has secured an approval from the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new 345kV transmission line that would run from Antelope Valley Power plant near Beulah to a substation near Tioga.

Additionally, the project includes construction of two new substations, modifications to three existing substations, river crossings, temporary construction staging sites, and other facilities.

The proposed transmission line will be located in Mercer, Dunn, Williams, McKenzie and Mountrail Counties.

The North Dakota PSC chairman Brian Kalk said, "This project is needed to provide Basin Electric members access to baseload generation to serve increasing load in their service areas and to address grid reliability issues in North Dakota.

"We know that there has been a lot of public comment related to this project. That is why language is included in the order that outlines conditions that must still be met."

Basin Electric media and community relations manager Curt Pearson said, "Basin Electric is extremely pleased with this decision.

"We appreciate the PSC’s diligence and careful analysis of this important project. This approval is another step forward in our mission to serve northwest North Dakota and beyond with much-needed reliable power."

The total cost of the project is estimated at $375m.

Basin Electric intends to start construction on the transmission project by August 15, 2014.