Columbus, Neb. – Two open houses will be hosted by Nebraska Public Power District next week concerning the development of a line route for a new 115,000-volt transmission line from a new substation, to be called Muddy Creek and located near an existing transmission line east of Broken Bow, to an existing substation near Ord. The line will enhance the reliability of the transmission network in the immediate area.
The two open houses will focus on gathering information from landowners who have property within a study area that has been developed by the District. The first open house for the 42-mile long line will be held September 30 at the Broken Bow City Auditorium, 314 S. 10th Avenue, in Broken Bow. A second open house will be held on Wednesday, October 1, at the Exhibit Hall at the Valley County Fairgrounds, 801 S Street, in Ord.
Project representatives will be available to discuss this project at the Open Houses from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees should allow at least 45 minutes to walk through the displays and provide landowner information.
The new line will play a vital role in enhancing the reliability of the transmission system in central Nebraska where NPPD had voltage and loading issues in 2012, according to 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,” he explained. The result was that 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 temporarily 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 is expected to be in service in June of 2018. Along with the transmission line work, the project also includes upgrades to the existing Ord substation and construction of a new substation east of Broken Bow.
Landowners in the study area have been sent invitations to attend either of these two open house events. NPPD officials noted that no routes have been determined at this time. At the open houses NPPD will collect information from landowners on land use, pivots, wells, planned facilities, residences, and other information. Each landowner will have the opportunity to identify this information and have it recorded into a GIS system that will be used in developing potential corridors for the lines.
“We invite landowners to come to either open house and give us information about their property, future plans, unique situations, locations of pivots and wells,” said Senior Project Manager Mike Hasenkamp. “This is valuable information that allows the project team to develop a line route that will minimize the overall impact.”
Additional information will be available on the need for the project, the route selection process, right-of-way activities, easement compensation, engineering, and environmental considerations.
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 meet extensively with the public to obtain comments and other valuable information needed for the route-siting/decision making process, beginning with the public open house sessions. 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.
The upcoming round of open houses will be the first of four rounds of public informational meetings NPPD plans to host. The first three rounds will be open houses and the fourth round will be a required public hearing.
For more information on the project, visit the website at www.nppd.com/muddycreek-ord/, or call the project hotline at 1-888-677-3412.