BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota’s Public Service Commission has granted an oil pipeline operator permission to install four new pumps. They will allow the line to pump more crude at a time when producers are clamoring for pipeline space.
Separately, the commission on Wednesday gave regulatory approval for FPL Energy to build an electric substation and 532-foot stretch of new power line in Oliver County. The utility is developing a wind turbine farm near Center.
When completed, the wind development will use 22 turbines to generate 50 megawatts of electricity, which is being sold to Minnesota Power of Duluth. The power line and substation are needed to transmit the energy east, Commissioner Susan Wefald said.
The new equipment is being installed on utility property near the Milton Young power station southeast of Center, regulatory filings say. The power plant is operated by Minnkota Power Cooperative of Grand Forks.
Enbridge Pipelines North Dakota LLC is installing the new pumps on its existing pipeline at its Alexander, Trenton, Beaver Lodge and Stanley stations, at an estimated cost of $16.4 million.
“As far as the scale and scope of this project, it’s no small potatoes,” Commission President Tony Clark said.
The company is planning other projects to boost its ability to export crude oil from western North Dakota to Minnesota refineries.
Enbridge intends to build a new 52-mile pipeline, 10 inches in diameter, that will parallel its existing 8-inch pipeline in Williams County. The pipeline will cost about $25 million, regulatory filings say.
It will begin at a pump station near Trenton, southwest of Williston, and stop near the Beaver Lodge station, an oil storage facility in eastern Williams County.
Enbridge also is planning to install new pumps at Blaisdell, Denbigh, Churchs Ferry and Larimore. All four communities are near U.S. Highway 2. Blaisdell, about 40 miles west of Minot, is the westernmost community, while Larimore, in Grand Forks County, is the farthest east.
The Public Service Commission is holding a public hearing Monday in Williston to take comment about the proposed new pipeline. Another hearing, scheduled Sept. 13 in Devils Lake, will solicit public comment about the pump project.
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