After much planning and an eight-month routing, siting, and public involvement process, a final line route has been determined for the Scottsbluff Power Project’s new 115 kV transmission line. The final route was announced on May 11, 2023. Directly impacted landowners were sent a letter with a map of the final route, and all landowners involved since the Phase 1 routing were mailed a newsletter.
With the final route determined, the project moves into phase 4, where NPPD representatives will begin contacting property owners along the route regarding the project’s next steps.
First, right-of-way (ROW) agents will set up an informal one-on-one meeting with landowners to discuss important and unique project information. ROW agents Shelby Mayash and Todd Muehlich have a combined 55 years of experience and will be representing NPPD during this process. At these meetings, property owners will be able to ask questions, provide valuable property information, and offer insight on land-use to the project team. The agents will also discuss the right-of-entry agreements, which will authorize NPPD to enter the property and conduct the following activities: environmental assessments, survey activities, and engineering and structural spotting assessments.
During May through June 2023, Westwood, a survey and mapping consultant, plans to use LiDAR drone technologies to capture geospatial data on areas along the final route. LiDAR stands for light detection and ranging, and it uses laser light to measure variable distances (ranges) to the earth. Westwood plans to use the data to create high-resolution three-dimensional representations of the Earth’s surface, including buildings, vegetation, and the ground.
The need for this project is due to Scottsbluff’s existing transmission line facing heavy congestion. The new line will increase the transmission system capacity to meet electrical demand, reduce congestion, and further enhance the reliability and resiliency of the Scottsbluff and western Nebraska areas.
Routes for a transmission project are typically developed over the course of several phases and are then narrowed down to a final route.
In the first phase, preliminary routes or route segments were determined, and the first open house meeting was held for landowners and interested parties to provide input, including property information, and learn more about the project.
The second phase involved the determination of a preferred route along with alternative routes. A second open house meeting was held for landowners and interested parties to provide input, including property information, and learn more about the project.
In the third public involvement phase, NPPD determined a proposed route and presented it at a public hearing, followed by a 30-day comment period.
A final line route will be announced no earlier than thirty days after the public hearing, at which time, right-of-way activities and final design work will begin.
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