Between Broken Bow and Ord
Columbus, Neb. – Citing a need to reduce voltage and loading issues on Nebraska Public Power District’s transmission system in central Nebraska, NPPD’s Board of Directors recently approved a resolution authorizing initial planning and engineering work for the public involvement process for a new, 115-kilovolt transmission line.
The new line will enhance the reliability of the transmission network between a new substation, to be called Muddy Creek, located between Broken Bow and the existing wind farm northeast of the community, to an upgraded substation near Ord. The line is estimated to be 42 miles in length.
“This new line will play a vital role in enhancing the reliability of the transmission system, particularly in central Nebraska where we had voltage and loading issues in 2012,” explained NPPD Chief Operating Officer Tom Kent. “A prolonged period of high temperatures in July 2012 combined with drought-like conditions, resulted in NPPD setting a record for peak electrical load needed by customers of 3,030 megawatts. NPPD’s transmission system in the central part of the state was stretched to the limit during the record load period.”
Over the past two years, NPPD has located additional mobile generators in the central part of the state during the summer months in order to help maintain reliability of the transmission system.
The need for the line was identified through the Southwest Power Pool’s transmission planning process, which is performed annually to assess system upgrades. The approximately $34 million transmission project also includes upgrades to existing substations and is expected to be in service in June of 2018.
NPPD will begin its public involvement process for the Muddy Creek to Ord transmission project later this year. This process, which utilizes a series of open houses, provides an opportunity for landowners to learn more about the project and for NPPD to gather details about their property in order to determine the best route available with least impact to landowners. The open houses provide information to the public about the need and benefit for the project, structure types, right-of-way acquisition, and routing criteria.