NPPD to host open house on proposed power line

September 26, 2013

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District will host a “Study Area” open house in Fullerton on Wednesday, Oct. 9 to provide information about a 115,000-volt transmission line NPPD is proposing to build in the area. The new line is being built to supply electric energy for a pumping station planned for construction as part of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

The open house, which will run from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Loup River Inn, will also provide area residents and landowners whose property may lie within the study area identified for the new power line opportunity to comment and share information with NPPD.

The public is invited to attend at their convenience. It is estimated the average time needed to go through the open house is approximately 20 to 30 minutes, but it is up to the individual how much time he or she wishes to spend.

The proposed electric transmission line will run about 14-18 miles, generally north and south, across portions of Polk, Merrick and Nance counties. The line will be built along a route, yet to be determined, between an NPPD substation to be constructed south of the Platte River near Clarks, and a wholesale customer’s substation to be constructed southeast of Fullerton. The new substation near Fullerton will be adjacent to an oil pumping station.

At its regularly scheduled August meeting, the NPPD Board of Directors approved a pair of resolutions regarding electric transmission projects needed to serve the proposed new route for TransCanada’s Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The first resolution directed NPPD management, at TransCanada’s request, to restart NPPD’s planning work on electric transmission lines for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. By contract, NPPD is responsible to provide electric power to its wholesale customers who, in turn, would serve the pipeline directly.

The second resolution ensured the Canadian company will reimburse NPPD for all expenses incurred to build the electric lines and associated facilities to deliver electricity to the pipeline pumping stations.

NPPD’s work to plan for providing electric service for the Keystone XL pipeline began in 2009. It was halted at TransCanada’s request in December 2011. Since then, TransCanada has redirected a portion of the pipeline’s route through Nebraska.

“As a public utility, we want landowners in the area where we may need to site a new power line to be involved in helping us determine the most suitable place for a final line route,” said NPPD Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Kent. “At this open house, we are taking a first step in the line-routing process by presenting the public with a general study area through which, somewhere, the new transmission line will pass.”

NPPD’s thorough public involvement/line routing process includes meeting with landowners and community officials in areas near and along possible transmission line routes. The “Study Area” open house planned for Oct. 9 is one of several meetings with landowners and other stakeholders NPPD will undertake for this project.

Because of agreements with TransCanada, all costs incurred by NPPD related to this project including interest and a management fee will be paid for by TransCanada, even if the pipeline does not get built. TransCanada is awaiting a permit from the U.S. Department of State before it can cross the international boundary between the U.S. and Canada.

The five Nebraska electric utilities who will provide electric service at retail to TransCanada to power its pumping stations along the pipeline are Cornhusker Power District, Niobrara Valley EMC, Elkhorn Rural Public Power District, Perennial Public Power District and Norris Public Power District.

For additional information about the proposed transmission lines needed to supply electric energy to the Keystone XL oil pipeline, call toll-free 1-(888)677-3412 and ask for Mark Miller, or call him direct at (402) 270-0215 or go online at nppd.com.