Butte, Mont. - Dec. 10, 2012 - Work continues on an extensive
power-pole replacement project in Philipsburg, with the
completion date for the work expected early in 2013. The
NorthWestern Energy project is aimed at improving the
reliability and safety of electric service in the area.
A number of the poles involved in the roughly $300,000
project carry not only electric lines but telecommunications
infrastructure owned by Blackfoot Telecommunications Group.
In some cases, the poles are owned by Blackfoot. NorthWestern
crews are working with the Missoula-based telecommunications
company to coordinate replacement of the poles owned by
Blackfoot that deliver both electric and telecommunications
In some cases, old poles with telecommunications lines sit
next to newly installed poles with electric service.
Ultimately, all the lines will be transferred to the new
poles. In the meantime, there will be instances where two
poles will temporarily remain in close proximity.
While initial plans called for the pole-replacement project
to be complete by the end of 2012, final work will be pushed
into early next year. A review of power poles in the
Philipsburg area found about 110 that needed to be replaced
due to their age or condition.
The project is a part of a company-wide initiative called the
Distribution System Infrastructure Project. The $300 million,
seven-year project is aimed at improving the reliability and
reliability of NorthWestern Energy's electric and natural gas
distribution systems. The focus of the program is on being
proactive in terms of inspecting and improving key components
of distribution system infrastructure.
Pole replacement work is a key part of the initiative. In the
coming years, such work will increase significantly across
NorthWestern's service territory as the company works to
replace aging infrastructure, improve system capacity, boost
safety and reliability and provide better service to its
About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in
the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately
668,400 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.www.northwesternenergy.com.