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Scoping Upgrades To YNP’s Power System

November 7, 2013 Greater Yellowstone, State of Montana, State of Wyoming No Comments
electricity

Yellowstone National Park is seeking public comment on a plan to implement infrastructure upgrades to its power distribution system.  Park Spokesman Dan Hottle says NorthWestern Energy has provided electrical power to Yellowstone National Park since the late 1950s using both aerial and buried transmission lines which have not been updated since the 1950’s.  He says a lot of this infrastructure is now prone to frequent outages.  Since the transmission lines are very remote and pass through inhospitable terrain, the park is looking to not only reduce those outages, but also provide for the safety of employees and visitors. Of primary concern, Hottle says is the lack of modern communication infrastructure that would normally facilitate diagnosing and correcting the cause of power outages from NorthWestern’s central offices in Montana.  He says the installation of some communication towers along the existing power line is being considered.  He says those towers would not be visible to the public.  However, they would provide places where they could put relay and information systems and more readily communicate with each other on the ground. Hottle says the Environmental Assessment will also evaluate a possible automated, remote monitoring and control system, as well as the installation of equipment buildings, back-up power generators and propane fuel tanks to help mitigate future outages.

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