NPPD open houses focusing on transmission project expansion in South Sioux City area

September 15, 2009

South Sioux City, Neb.- South Sioux City area residents will have an opportunity to provide input to Nebraska Public Power District on the routing of two 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines that will support economic development and continue to provide electric reliability for the area.

NPPD will host two open house sessions for its “South Sioux City 115-kV Transmission Line Expansion Project.” The first open house will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a second session on Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the Marina Inn, 510 E. Fifth Street, South Sioux City, Neb. The project’s public involvement process is expected to run through the spring of 2010.

The project includes expansion of the existing Twin Church substation west of Dakota City and construction of a second sub-station to be located southeast of South Sioux City. The transmission lines will connect the two sub-stations from different directions, but at this time no routes have been identified. Construction of the transmission line anticipated to begin in the summer of 2011, with completion and lines in service during the summer of 2012.

The open house format will allow the public to learn more about the proposed project and interact with project personnel as part of the District’s extensive public involvement process in developing transmission line routes. Those attending will learn about the need and benefit of the transmission line expansion, environmental considerations, engineering aspects, and right-of-way activities.

Individuals who own land within the initial study area will also be asked to provide additional information about their property which will be documented in a GIS mapping system and considered throughout the route determination process.

“We encourage the public to attend this first round of open houses to learn about the need for the expansion of the transmission system in the South Sioux City area and give us valuable information to help us develop an appropriate route,” said Ed Wagner, NPPD’s Vice President of Customer Services & Delivery.

“These two proposed transmission lines will be important to the community in that they will provide continued reliability in the electric delivery system and support the growing economic development efforts of the community,” Wagner continued. “The South Sioux City area has seen an increase in electric load over the past five years and we see it growing even more over the next five years.” He cited expansion projects at BPI and the possibility of a server farm in the community, both requiring the electric transmission to support the operations. Due to this economic growth, NPPD is projecting a 75 percent increase in electric usage in the South Sioux City/Dakota City area by 2013.

The open house is one phase of NPPD’s comprehensive public involvement process that is used on its transmission line projects. To develop line routes for the project, NPPD will be meeting extensively with the public to obtain comments and other valuable information needed for the route-siting/decision making process, beginning with the two public open house sessions, and continuing into the spring of 2010. NPPD will use a variety of communication methods to interact with area landowners; local, county, and state government officials; and representatives of appropriate regulatory agencies.

“A critical need exists for construction of these 115- kV transmission line,” said Wagner. “Demand for electric power continues to climb, and the system needs to grow right along with it.”