Bakken Area Program Management

Substation with field of yellow flowers in foreground

Bakken Area Program Management

The shale oil boom brought 30,000 new workers to the Bakken, but we didn't blink.

We've streamlined the rapid expansion of the area's electrical infrastructure to meet 50 percent increases in electrical loads annually, well above the typical 1 to 2 percent growth.

Working closely with Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC), we've integrated an array of critical services using the spirit of a design-build model to responsibly build the power delivery systems required to meet the community's electric needs and keep the lights on. Environmental compliance, engineering, land acquisition and construction occur nearly simultaneously to quickly and safely get us all to the end goal of putting 165 miles of new transmission, 300 to 500 miles of distribution and nearly 30 substations into operation in MWEC's service area.

Our program manager recently stated, "What is going on in the Bakken area cannot be described; it must be experienced. The work we are doing now is the tip of the iceberg. With this recent boom, the region's rural electric cooperatives are under unprecedented pressure. HDR is contributing an extraordinary work effort to effectively support MWEC, a trusted client for over 35 years."

Key program highlights:

  • Environmental and GIS experts delineated whooping crane habitat, working collaboratively with design teams to develop transmission line marking plans.
  • Authored new substation standards so engineers can be producing roughly twice as many substations per person than usual.
  • Real estate and land acquisition information is being managed through HDR's proprietary iREALM program, which has helped to plan and acquire more than 300 easements.
  • Creation of protective coordination schemes that provide sectionalizing and coordination for the power system.
  • Hundreds of miles of distribution line staking and design across the region.
  • Long-range and short-term joint system planning with regional cooperatives.
Substation with field of yellow flowers in foreground
Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative

Bakken, ND
United States