Butte, Mont. - Nov. 26, 2012 - NorthWestern Energy has begun work to upgrade an electric substation in Chinook, Mont., a project intended to improve reliability of electric service in the community and surrounding area.
The substation work began Nov. 26 and is expected to be complete by Dec. 20. Crews will use a portable substation to maintain electric service while the work is being performed. There will likely be two brief outages as the portable substation is hooked up and later as it is disconnected.
"We are doing this to replace aging equipment and enhance reliability," said Jim Krusemark, NorthWestern Energy's Manager of Substation Operations.
The work on the substation is expected to cost about $260,000.
The substation upgrade 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.
Substation work is a key part of the initiative. NorthWestern Energy has spent about $3 million in 2012 on proactive substation work. In the coming years, substation spending 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 rural customers.
About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy is one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 668,400 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.www.northwesternenergy.com.