NPPD holds open houses for transmission line project

September 16, 2009

Axtell, Neb. – Representatives from Nebraska Public Power District hosted a pair of open houses this week in Axtell and Franklin. The open houses were early steps in the process of building an electric transmission line from near Axtell south to the Nebraska/Kansas border. The new 345,000-volt (345 kV) line will run from a substation near Axtell to a location (as yet to be determined) at the border. The final route of the new transmission line has not been determined.

NPPD’s new Axtell to Kansas 345 kV Electric Transmission Line Project is one segment of a multi-state transmission line project. In Kansas, a similar 345 kV line is being built by a transmission company, ITC Great Plains. The combined project has been approved by the Southwest Power Pool, the regional transmission organization mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power and adequate transmission infrastructure.

NPPD is undertaking this project because, when completed, it will ease congestion in the regional transmission network and allow NPPD to more efficiently operate its western Nebraska power generating resources. This will provide NPPD more flexibility in the generation, transmission and delivery of energy.

Additionally, the new line will develop a parallel north/south path for energy, which will enhance overall system reliability, and the new line will allow transmission of green, renewable energy from future wind farms in Kansas and Nebraska.

To assist in identifying possible line routes for the Axtell to Kansas project, NPPD will conduct a comprehensive public involvement process within the involved area/communities, including several rounds of open houses. Ed Wagner, NPPD’s Vice President of Customer Services said: “Gathering comments and input from the public on any proposed route is a vital component in the route siting/decision making process.”

The open houses were held Sept. 15 in Axtell at the Axtell Community Hall and Sept. 16 in Franklin at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Construction on NPPD’s Axtell to Kansas Project is scheduled to begin mid-2011, with an in-service date of June 2013. NPPD and Southwest Power Pool members will share the cost of the 345 kV transmission line project, estimated at approximately $87 million, including expansion of the Axtell Substation.