Transmission line feeding Rushford's substation changes ownership

Transmission line feeding Rushford's substation changes ownership

Cresco, IA | Rushford, MN (12:30 p.m. April 26, 2019)— MiEnergy Cooperative is pleased to announce its wholesale power supplier, Dairyland Power Cooperative of La Crosse, is the new owner of the transmission line that powers the city of Rushford’s substation.

The 69 kV transmission line travels from Interstate 90 south along Hwy 43 and ends at Rushford’s substation. It was previously owned by ITC Midwest, which is headquartered out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  This specific transmission line initially was part of Alliant Energy’s transmission system. Alliant sold its transmission system in Iowa and Minnesota to ITC in 2007.

Transmission versus Distribution

When power to Rushford’s substation goes out, residents may automatically think MiEnergy, as the local electric cooperative is the one responsible for restoring electricity.

“MiEnergy is a distribution cooperative. We take electricity from the substations and distribute it across our electric distribution system to homes, farms and businesses,” explains Brian Krambeer, MiEnergy’s president/CEO. “Generation and transmission companies, what we call G&Ts, generate electricity and transfer it using their transmission system and these transmission lines are what feed the substations.”

In this case, the city of Rushford owns its own substation and electric distribution system. The city contracts with MiEnergy through Dairyland Power to provide electricity to the substation and MiEnergy assists with the city’s substation and distribution system on an as needed basis. The situation has been complicated in the past due to ITC’s ownership of the transmission line that feeds the city’s substation.

The latest example of this was the April 11 storm that broke and damaged power line poles causing power outages in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, including to the city of Rushford. After extensive communications, ITC granted Dairyland special permission to replace the broken poles and repair the transmission line to restore power on their behalf.

Members of MiEnergy were also affected because its distribution line is supported under the transmission line, which could not be restored until the transmission poles and line were repaired.

“With this new ownership transfer to Dairyland, we can ensure our local commitment to timely response and emergency support to the city of Rushford,” says Krambeer.

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