An Update On All Things Dakota Electric
Board of Directors Reorg
Paul Bakken has been appointed as the new board chair; Bill Middlecamp is now the vice chair; Jerry Pittman is the treasurer, and Bill Holton is the secretary.
Management and staff are working to achieve goals defined during the board retreat held in early May. We will provide updates as plans fully emerge, and we look forward to an exciting future.
Changes at Headquarters
Dakota Electric is upgrading its original fuel tanks along with the fuel monitoring system that detects leaks. Additionally, we are adding 12 level two EV chargers to our headquarters to accommodate more electric fleet vehicles.
Crews and contractors completed trimming on Orchard Lake Substation circuits in Lakeville, which stretches approximately 2.5 miles. Year-to-date, crews and contractors have closed out over 108 tree service tickets and completed circuit trimming on a total of 15 circuits that cover approximately 105 miles of line. This is part of a long-term initiative.
Consistent with Dakota Electric’s strategic efforts to monitor failure rates and replace bare cable, which has exceeded its useful life, line crews have completed 12,000 ft. of cable replacement so far in 2022.
Cliff Road Project
To accommodate improvements being made to Cliff Road in Eagan, our existing three-phase overhead mainline cable from Lakewood Hills Road west to Lexington Avenue was converted to mainline underground cable. Dakota Electric crews installed 19,000 feet of mainline underground cable and placed four pad-mount switch cabinets at strategic locations throughout the project.
Integrated Distribution Planning (IDP)
The IDP is an important part of planning for the electric grid of the future. In our most recent report filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Dakota Electric studied increased electric vehicle use, additional rooftop solar installations and battery storage options. Dakota Electric’s analysis showed that our distribution system is performing well and is prepared to reliably serve members and your needs for the future, including increased electric vehicles and solar energy use.
Additionally, we expect to connect over 1,200 new homes and businesses to our system in 2022.
We currently have 122,825 active AGi meters. With these new meters installed, we have seen improved internal efficiencies and outage detection. We are seeing decreased costs since we are now able to respond to most requests remotely instead of sending staff out to transfer or reconnect service. These are real operational savings, allowing us to decrease our reconnection fee for most residential meters.