Otter Tail Power - Bottineau, ND

Otter Tail Power


An interesting power company with a large service area (50,000 square miles across western MN, eastern ND, northeast SD) and yet serving a small population (less than 130,000).

Otter Tail Power - Bottineau, ND

06 Jul 2007 5 2 148
A double-circuit 41.6kV structure with tap; the retired voltage transformer (now gone) once supplied power to automatic controls for the KPF switches that once sat on both sides of the tap (one was removed in 1993 with the relocation of the 115/41.6kV transformer from Gardena to Bottineau) and the other was converted to manual operation. It remains to be seen what happens to this tap, as the North Bottineau substation was removed with the upgrade to 12.5kV. One possibility is a realignment to feed the downtown sub or conversion of that radial line to a loop.

Otter Tail Power - Pembina County, ND

06 Jul 2007 4 143
Almost too late to get a picture of this 41.6kV / 7200V single phase sub... wish I had been through this area before this line was being prepared for removal (to make way for a 115kV bulk transmission line that now follows the same alignment). The 7200V line that came off this sub (and which serves a town of 100 about 5 miles south) is now served off a metered tap from part of Cavalier REC's system. The linemen that were working this project were anything BUT gentle when it came to filling the dumpster! It would have been nice to see if there were any line posts in collectible condition, but each and every one was damaged from being tossed in the dumpster.

Otter Tail Power - Cavalier County, ND

06 Jul 2007 6 2 242
Not sure how or why the company chose to "float" this 7200V single phase sub under the main 41.6kV line. This line was replaced with a new 115kV line in late 2007, and evidently the cost of erecting a 115kV/7200V sub or extending a long distribution circuit from the next town over outweighed the revenue from the customers on the sub and so the Olga distribution system was transferred to Cavalier REC. OTP constructed the distribution system for the unincorporated town of Olga in 1940 and originally served it from the Concrete Junction sub before erecting this sub.

Otter Tail Power - Bottineau, ND

30 Aug 2008 3 157
Here's an older version of this shot: www.ipernity.com/doc/ndlinegeek/18782101 when the riser still had box cutouts. This line is now 12.5kV. Dunno why, but I always enjoyed seeing this short branch line when coming into town from the west. I STILL need to get a pic of the pole just out of view to the right as it was a push brace pole.

Otter Tail Power - Eckelson, ND

01 Sep 2010 3 1 143
Looks like the linemen forgot to "de-shenaninganize" the pole after the substation rebuild was done! The "shenanigan" term was coined by the late Mike Parker in reference to a similar practice observed on some Portland General Electric 57kV lines where one of the line posts had fallen off the crossarm: www.insulators.info/pictures/?id=197589703

Otter Tail Power - Eckelson, ND

30 Jun 2007 4 4 314
The original 41.6/4kV substation for Eckelson - the 3 cans were actually 24kV as they were connected wye style; the two on the right looked like 1920s vintage (the middle one I daresay was likely 1910s!). The replacement sub that currently sits on this spot is far less interesting.

Otter Tail Power - Eckelson, ND

22 May 2009 2 125
A temporary substation trailer in place while the 4kV substation was being replaced. I bet it must have been INTERESTING placing the trailer with the 41.6kV line crossing a swamp!

Otter Tail Power - McLean County, ND

28 May 2011 5 5 170
The 'Stoney End' sub east of Garrison - 41.6kV in, I THINK 2400V delta out (no regulators so no easy way to know for sure). The line is a single span uphill to the supper club. This was a better solution than running a line east from Garrison (and doing so would have run it right past a McLean Electric sub AND the coop's office!). It looks like the transformers are low to the ground, but it's a matter of scale and perspective. They're at least 6 feet off the ground. It happened to be a very wet spring when I took this picture, hence the pond in front of the sub.

Otter Tail Power - Garrison, ND

28 May 2011 1 1 136
Twin 41.6kV circuits looping into a single branch (note that one of the KPF A-3 'twister' switches is normally open) The double circuit was looped because of one other OTP sub and a McLean Electric sub along this line. OTP tends to avoid radial lines with multiple subs if they can help it (but on the other hand, MDU has no issues with such lines).

Otter Tail Power - Garrison, ND

28 May 2011 5 2 155
A nice wooden sub with the 41.6kV line ending on the right and all the 4kV fanning out from the other end. Otter Tail has since replaced this sub with a new one off to the right in this view.

Otter Tail Power - Solway, MN

04 Sep 2011 6 1 277
Two back-to-back 41.6kV/2400V single phase subs to create 3-phase corner grounded delta. It's possible that the system was originally just 2400V singlephase and after rebuilding the original sub, there was a need for 3-phase and so the second sub was added to bring in the second phase needed. Now, what happens if someone needs full 4-wire Y service??? :)

Otter Tail Power - Nelson County, ND

04 Jun 2006 4 4 224
A few of Grand Forks Air Force Base's missile silos were served directly off Otter Tail's 41.6kV system rather than getting the local coop to extend 12.5kV service (our tax dollars at work). These large cans stepped the 41.6kV all the way down to 480V! All of these silos have since been retired (stripped of the missile and certain equipment and the rest imploded in place) and these branch lines have been abandoned in place. OTP is very slowly removing these tap lines. When I got this picture, the line was still intact, but this branch line has been partially deconstructed (the transformers came down by 2012 and the tap line partially deconstructed by 2015). Some have since been stripped all the way back to the switch structure, leaving just the two poles and no crossarm for the branch line.

Otter Tail Power - LaMoure County, ND

30 Aug 2012 3 192
A substation that serves a segment of the system that still runs at 23.9kV. The first leg of the line is insulated to 41.6kV standards but the towns along the way are served right off this line with no substation. This line was built in 1929 as a 13.2kV line with the substation in LaMoure (the next town east), but at some point it was decided to move the sub here, increase the voltage, and eliminate all but one substation on this older system. The cans in the middle are there apparently just to stabilize the voltage given the relatively light load on this part of the system.

Northern States / Otter Tail Pwr - Moody County, S…

10 Aug 2007 7 2 323
The line went uphill at this point at the same time it started to do a 'rolling transposition' and so NSP added extra disks to keep the lines from flying upwards on this 69kV line. The phases 'roll' one step counterclockwise in two spans, the shield wire moving off its normal place on the top crossarm further up the pole in the process. First, the upper right line shifts to the upper left spot temporarily as the lower right line rises to the upper right spot, then the line in the lower left spot crosses to the lower right spot as the line in the upper left temporary spot drops down to the lower left spot, the shield wire following back down to the upper left spot. An Otter Tail Power 41.6kV line is on the second arm (this NSP line passed through part of OTP's territory, hence the shared poles). This pole is gone now - it was replaced with a line of steel poles with davit arm construction - the 41.6kV on porcelain disks on the 'far' side and the 69kV on polymer strings on the 'road' side of the line.

Otter Tail Power - Oklee, MN

03 Sep 2011 5 1 215
A very old transformer - note the "plus" shape of the can. It seems to have been repainted once (a transformer this old would have left the factory painted black and not NEMA gray) but the paint job didn't seem to stand up that well. Also note that the secondary side of the can uses pigtail leads and not bushings like later transformers. Making this can a little more unusual is the fact the primary (2400V) side actually has a pair of bushings for the incoming leads - perhaps this was an early transition from all pigtail leads to the present practice of terminal bushings? Lastly, note that the secondary leads pass through a CT on the way down to the fusebox.

Otter Tail Power - Gonvick, MN

03 Sep 2011 7 181
A trio of old crossarm-hung transformers - note that the paint has worn down to the primer. The 41.6kV line is supported on small posts that are likely a relic from a very early rebuild by Interstate Power Co. when the line operated at its original 33kV. All three transformers have given way to a fresh pair of pole-mounted transformers.

Otter Tail Power - Mahnomen County, MN (?)

10 Jun 2006 5 2 148
I'm not sure just what was going on here, nor can I even remember the location to verify whether it still remains so today.

Otter Tail Power - Wells County, ND

19 May 2006 7 2 386
An singlephase-style 41.6kV line heads into this substation, exiting as a 2400V line heading north into Heaton, although only two of the three conductors are live. It may even be one live and two grounded conductors. The 'neutral' on the 41.6kV line was intended to be the third phase, ready to be shifted onto a lower crossarm had the need for full 3-phase 2400V ever materialized. Unfortunately, Heaton was already past its prime when it went on the company's lines in 1930. This sub may well be original construction and likely proof that the in-line style substation dates back to the company's early years.

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