Columbus, Neb. – A third round of public open houses focused on potential line routes and substation locations is set for May 14 and 15 on Nebraska Public Power District’s proposed Hoskins to Neligh 345,000-volt transmission line project.
The first of two open houses will be Tuesday, May 14, at the American Legion, 115 W. Third Street in Neligh. A second open house will be held on Wednesday, May 15, at the Lifelong Learning Center located at Northeast Community College, 801 E. Benjamin Ave., in Norfolk. Both open houses will run from 2 to 8 p.m. and input will be taken from landowners and interested public.
The open houses continue NPPD’s public involvement process in routing transmission lines. Two earlier sessions on the Hoskins to Neligh line gathered information from landowners that assisted in identifying potential line routes and substation sites, although NPPD has made not made a decision on a final line route or substation site. Landowners who are within close proximity to those line routes have been extended an invitation to attend the open house, and were provided a map showing what NPPD feels is the most suitable line route and substation site at this time.
NPPD is building the line route to enhance transmission system reliability and provide opportunities for additional renewable energy generation. The new line will cover approximately 50 miles in length, and also includes rerouting four, existing 115,000-volt transmission lines into a new substation location.
“The Hoskins to Neligh transmission line will strengthen electric reliability in north central Nebraska and we encourage landowners who have been identified to attend and provide us with comments on the proposed routes,” NPPD Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Kent explained. Last summer NPPD and other utilities faced higher than expected electric loads in the area, and asked for customers to reduce their energy usage to avoid outages. “This line is one of several ways NPPD is addressing the energy demands in the area while maintaining the reliability of the system for all its customers.”
Following this series of open houses, NPPD will come back with a final line route and substation site, and then host a public hearing as part of its comprehensive public involvement process. “NPPD’s goal is to minimize the impact to landowners and find the most suitable line route and substation site in terms of considering items such as land use, environmental constraints, constructability, cost and electric system performance,” Kent pointed out.
The Hoskins to Neligh transmission line was identified in the Southwest Power Pool’s Integrated Transmission Plan (issued in January 2012), which assesses the needs of the entire transmission network within the SPP (www.spp.org) region over the next 10 years. The Hoskins-Neligh line was one of two identified, with the other being a line from NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station north towards the Cherry County area and then east to Holt County.
Transmission line construction for the Hoskins-Neligh line is expected to begin in the summer of 2015 with an in-service date of spring 2016.
More information on the Hoskins to Neligh project can be found at http://www.nppd.com/hoskins-neligh, and public comment is still being accepted.
(Editor’s Note: A PDF of the potential transmission line routes and substation locations can be found at: http://www.nppd.com/hoskins-neligh/maps/.)