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Black Hills Energy plans to begin construction this summer on a $6.5 million electrical substation and a $1.5 million transmission line in northwestern Rapid City, a company official said Tuesday.

Marc Eyre, director of operations for Black Hills Energy, presented information about the project to the city’s Public Works Committee during a meeting at the City/School Administration Center.

Eyre said the project will improve electrical capacity and reliability in the city. No interruptions of electrical service are anticipated during construction.

The new substation will be on a 3-acre site behind the company’s Operations Service Center at 409 Deadwood Ave., where there was a coal pile. Electricity brought to the substation by a 230-kilovolt transmission line will be reduced in voltage for delivery to distribution substations — including an existing one behind the Operations Service Center. Distribution substations reduce the voltage further for distribution to homes and businesses.

Eyre said 1.5 miles of electrical transmission line will be erected in existing power-line rights-of-way to connect the new substation with a transmission line to the east. In those affected rights-of-way, existing 60-foot-tall poles will be replaced by 120-foot-tall poles.

A public input meeting on the project will be conducted as part of Black Hills Energy’s permit application to the state Public Utilities Commission. That meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 18 at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center’s Washington Room in Rapid City.

Construction of the substation is scheduled to begin in July, followed by construction of the transmission line beginning in August. Black Hills Energy hopes to have the project completed and the substation placed in service by May 2020.

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Contact Seth Tupper at seth.tupper@rapidcityjournal.com

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Enterprise Reporter

Enterprise reporter for the Rapid City Journal and author of "Calvin Coolidge in the Black Hills." Receiving encrypted news tips through Peerio with the user name seth_tupper.