Broken Bow, Neb.- With a 30-day public comment period complete, Nebraska Public Power District has determined the final route for its 115,000-volt Broken Bow Transmission Line Project. When completed, the new power line will support the delivery of electricity from the planned Broken Bow wind farm, to be constructed northeast of the community in 2012, to NPPD’s existing substation south of Broken Bow.
The 115,000-volt transmission line will follow a north-south route from the wind farm collector substation in northeastern Custer County, cross Highway 70, then turn west across Highway 2 to the existing Broken Bow substation, located on the southern border of the city.
The right-of-entry process is now underway, allowing key activities to be conducted on private property including surveying, preliminary field engineering, and land appraisal. Easement acquisition is expected to start later this year followed by construction early next year, with the line going into operation in the fall of 2012.
NPPD Project Manager Jedd Fischer said that every effort has gone into reviewing all comments and concerns from landowners, in order to be able to come up with a final line route. “There may be some minor tweaking of the route as we move along as additional information is gathered from the right-of-entry process and surveying activities,” he explained.
NPPD right-of-way agents have been contacting landowners affected by the line to acquire right-of-entry agreements where preliminary work is required. The agents are making appointments with the landowners to explain the right-of-entry process and subsequent activities. Once a right-of-entry agreement has been signed by the landowner, activities will begin.
Surveying activities include recovering section corners and setting concrete project control monuments. The section corners are found and documented, or re-established if they cannot be located. Surveying of the monuments and corners will be done using global positioning systems (GPS) which provide precise surveying.
NPPD has sub-contracted with JEO Consulting Group, Inc., which will be working with the Custer County surveyor’s office during the surveying process.
Preliminary field engineering activities include identifying sites where structures may be located and conducting environmental studies. Information gathered from the land surveys and preliminary field engineering will be used to develop the final right-of-way easement. Preliminary field engineering will be managed by POWER Engineers.
The appraisal process will be conducted by American Real Estate and Associates, who will do a market analysis of the properties and consider power line impacts in order to determine payments to be utilized in the easement acquisition process.