Line route options, substation locations focus of open houses on NPPD’s R-Project

April 21, 2014

Columbus, Neb. – Line route options and substation site locations will be the focus of a series of landowner open houses hosted by Nebraska Public Power District for its R-Project in late April and early May.

The proposed line, estimated to be approximately 220 miles in length, will run from NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman Station near Sutherland, north to a new substation to be sited adjacent to an existing substation near Thedford. The line will proceed east and connect to a second substation to be sited near an existing Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) 345,000-volt transmission line in the Holt/Antelope/Wheeler County area.

At this time, NPPD has no final line route established but will be providing the public a look at various line route options, and all alternatives are viable options. But NPPD noted that the western, north-south corridor does not have any line routes that will be carried forward.  Routes through this corridor were thoroughly evaluated and considered but eliminated due to many factors, including accessibility.

The project was identified as being needed to enhance transmission system reliability, relieve congestion from existing transmission lines, and provide opportunities for additional renewable energy generation.

The series of six landowner open house sessions are set and each will run from 2 to 8 p.m. Landowners attending should allow 30-60 minutes to walk through the open house and provide information to NPPD:

  • Tuesday, April 29- Logan County Fairgrounds, 71 Highway 83, Stapleton, Neb.
  • Wednesday, April 30- Sutherland Public School (South Gymnasium), 401 Walnut Street, Sutherland, Neb.
  • Thursday, May 1– Thomas County Fairgrounds, 83861 Highway 83, Thedford, Neb.
  • Monday, May 5– Wheeler Central High School (new gymnasium), 214 5th Street, Bartlett, Neb.
  • Tuesday, May 6- Sandhills Public School (gymnasium), 107 Gandy Avenue, Dunning, Neb.
  • Wednesday, May 7– American Legion, 657 G Street, Burwell, Neb.

NPPD has conducted two previous open houses concerning a study area and corridors. This series of open houses will look at optional routes.  It is expected that this fall, final routes will be announced and formal public hearings will be held in each county along the proposed transmission line route.

“Our project team has evaluated more than 19,000 options totaling more than 9,000 miles,” said Senior Project manager Craig Holthe. “This included reviewing nearly 1,770 comments received from the public and various agencies involved with the project.”

Holthe explained that the preferred route follows Highway 83 from Gerald Gentleman Station north to Thedford, and utilizes the northern east-west corridor that generally parallels the county lines to the WAPA transmission line.”

“At this time, NPPD is pursuing the use of single pole structures with concrete foundations in easily accessible areas, such as along existing roads,” Holthe explained. “Lattice steel structures appear to be the best structure type in areas of challenging accessibility, where screw-in anchor type foundations can be used rather than concrete, resulting in less traffic impact to the property. Lattice structures may also reduce the need for heavy trucks during future maintenance activities.”

Landowners unable to attend any of the open house sessions can visit the on-line open house meeting at beginning April 29.  The website will have abbreviated maps and drawings from the open houses, and an opportunity to comment online. Feedback can be given by e-mailing or by contacting the project hotline at 1-888-677-3412.

(Note to Editors: Maps of the line routes can be downloaded at

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