NPPD to Hold Public Hearings for New Power Line

June 10, 2010

Minden, Neb. – Representatives of Nebraska Public Power District will be in Minden on June 23 and Franklin on June 24 to hold public hearings for a new, 345,000-volt transmission line. NPPD is planning to build the line from NPPD’s Axtell Substation, north of Axtell, to a spot on the Nebraska/Kansas border about halfway between Franklin and Riverton. The initial estimated price tag for the approximately 53-mile line is $87 million, with the cost being shared among members of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization.

Generally, the new power line is needed for two main reasons: to keep electric rates as low as possible and to enhance the area’s electric system reliability. Currently, the existing regional transmission grid is unable to transmit the amount of electric energy needed during times of heavy demand. This line congestion causes NPPD to operate its system, including power plants, inefficiently, which costs ratepayers money. By building the Axtell to Kansas transmission line, NPPD will ease the congestion.

The upcoming hearings will be the fourth round of project-related public meetings. The first three rounds of meetings (open houses) were held in Axtell, Minden and Franklin. NPPD’s Axtell to Kansas project was approved by the NPPD Board of Directors in June 2009. The first round of open houses – in Sept. 2009 in Axtell and Franklin – identified a general study area for the project, provided project information and sought public input.

The second round of open houses in November 2009 in Minden and Franklin narrowed the line-routing options to four possible line route corridors. The project’s third round of open houses in March 2010 in Minden and Franklin presented alternative line routes, including a preferred route. Total attendance at the three rounds of open houses reached almost 600.

Each Axtell to Kansas public hearing will be preceded by an hour-long mini open house. The June 23 meeting in Minden will be held at the Kearney County Fairgrounds. The open house will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the public hearing starting at 7. In Franklin, the June 24 meeting will be at the Franklin County Fairgrounds Ag Center. The meeting will begin with an open house from noon to 1 p.m., followed by the public hearing at 1 p.m.