FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sep 03, 2010
NPPD Finalizes Transmission Line Routes for Proposed TransCanada Pipeline Project
Columbus, Neb. – After more than a year of meetings with landowners, public officials and other key stakeholders, Nebraska Public Power District has identified final routes for three separate 115,000-volt transmission line segments that will be needed to serve pumping stations associated with the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project.
The transmission line projects include a new 9-mile line segment near the Clarks/Central City areas, a 37-mile line segment near the Ericson/Petersburg areas and a 28-mile line segment in the O’Neill/Stuart areas. The transmission lines and associated substation facilities are being planned to serve NPPD wholesale customer utilities in the respective areas who will, in turn, serve the pumping stations as part of the proposed pipeline.
NPPD is pursuing the line routing and siting process in accordance with Nebraska state statutes and regulations. The approximately 74 miles of new transmission lines and associated substation facilities are estimated to cost $49 million and will be paid for by TransCanada.
“This is a milestone step in NPPD’s public involvement and line routing process, but we are a long ways from having any poles in the ground,” said NPPD Transmission and Distribution Manager Tom Kent. “Construction of this line will only occur if NPPD knows for certain that it will be needed by TransCanada.”
While NPPD has followed a comprehensive public involvement process to route the transmission lines, it does not mean all of the details are completely worked out yet.
“Line routing is a time consuming and arduous process,” said Project Manager Jedd Fischer. “We have taken our best run at it, but until we have right-of-entry agreements from landowners and an opportunity to conduct survey work and further engineering, some aspects of the route, such as where a structure is specifically located, could still change.”
Next steps include obtaining right-of-entry agreements from landowners to conduct property appraisals, environmental and surveying work prior to acquiring easements.
“Because TransCanada is paying for this project and because our agreement with the pipeline company covers expenses incurred to date, we feel it is necessary to continue moving forward on this project to meet the deadline for construction we have been given,” said Kent. “We are in regular communication with TransCanada and they are fully aware of our steps in this process.”
NPPD is expected to start construction of the transmission lines in the Fall of 2011 with an in-service date of mid-2012. The utility has set up a field office for right-of-way activities in Minden, will soon be setting up an office in O’Neill, and is considering opening a temporary field office in Petersburg.
“We appreciate all of the feedback we have received to date and expect to continue working with landowners throughout this project,” said Fischer.
More information can be found at http://nppd.com/grid_essential/.