Second Transmission Feed Serves Moorhead Well

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Second Transmission Feed Serves Moorhead Well

June 16, 2017

From Moorhead Public Service: Friday, June 16, 2017


Tuesday night (June 13, 2017) was a perfect example as to why Moorhead Public Service (MPS) has two electrical feeds into Moorhead. Moorhead experienced a city‑wide power outage at about 9:00 p.m., for approximately eight minutes. The outage was caused by a high-voltage steel transmission structure in south Fargo that collapsed in the strong winds (see attached photo). The structure is owned by MPS’ primary power supplier, Western Area Power Administration (WAPA).

Because Moorhead Public Service has a second feed into Moorhead, WAPA and MPS were able to reroute power in eight minutes to restore power to Moorhead! MPS’ General Manager Bill Schwandt noted, “It was very interesting at the Moorhead Business Association meeting [on June 14, 2017] when many at the meeting talked about the 1975 storm that took the city of Moorhead out of power for half a day. At that time, Moorhead had only one feed into town. The second feed was completed in 1977. The [MPS] Commission has also discussed a third feed into town.”

Up until Wednesday evening (June 14, 2017), MPS operated with a single electric feed into town. WAPA quickly obtained emergency locates and installed wood structures to temporarily restore their 230,000‑volt transmission line. MPS was notified on Wednesday evening that WAPA had completed their repairs to the fallen transmission line; therefore, MPS is, once again, operating with two electric feeds into Moorhead. Later, presumably this summer, WAPA will install steel structures to replace the temporary wood structures.

Moorhead Public Service also experienced a variety of localized outages caused by the storm, including broken utility poles and fallen tree branches on power lines and service lines, for which MPS’ electric crews worked on throughout the night of the storm and into the next day. Schwandt requests, “When you see them, thank an MPS lineman, electrician, or dispatcher. Our employees do an excellent job of keeping the power flowing.”


MPS Commission President Ken Norman expresses, “To all involved, thank you for minimizing the outage to an eight-minute duration. What could have been a more problematic situation was limited by advanced long‑term planning. There is a reason why the [Moorhead Public Service] Commission is proud of our level of reliability, and that relates to our system and our staff members…To all of our employees, thanks for all that you do to keep our services at the highest level. We have learned to expect excellence, and you deliver!”


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