Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) held the Southeast Sarpy Growth and Reliability Project Public Hearing, Tuesday, March 6th. Residents, landowners and other community members attended the hearing, which took place at LifeSpring Church, 13904 S. 36th St., Bellevue, NE.
The southeast portion of Sarpy County is poised for additional growth and development, especially along the proposed U.S. Highway 34 corridor. Existing OPPD infrastructure is adequate in the short-term, but capacity and capital improvements are needed to maintain current reliability and serve future growth. A new substation is needed in this area, along with power lines to connect the substation to the current grid.
At the hearing OPPD provided the nature and necessity of the project, the reasons for selecting the transmission route, the rights of each owner of property for legal representation, to negotiate, and to exercise the procedure of eminent domain.
The purpose of Southeast Sarpy Growth & Reliability Project is to:
- Support the future growth and development of Southeast Sarpy County
- Maintain exceptional power reliability for all OPPD customer-owners
- Continue to provide excellent customer service
Project Resources from Public Meeting
In December 2010, OPPD began contacting local leaders to let them know of the identified need of improving the infrastructure in the area to maintain the current level of reliability and serve future growth in the area.
In January 2011, two open houses were held to introduce the Southeast Sarpy County Growth and Reliability Project to neighbors, land owners and other leaders. These customers were invited to provide input on what criteria OPPD should consider when planning where to put the substation and the power lines leading to it. OPPD representatives were on hand to answer questions and concerns.
OPPD took the public input from those meetings and combined it with information gathered from surveys, web site comments, e-mail, and telephone hotline messages and determined that customer-owner power line priorities were:
- Distance from homes
- Distance from schools
- Distance from recreational areas/facilities
- Distance from platted residential property
- Transmission line length
OPPD studied how best to meet those desires while providing a reliable system. In April 2011, a second set of open houses was held to provide customer-owners updated information on the progress of the project. At this open house, the preferred substation location at 27th St. and Platteview Road power line routes were revealed.
After those meetings, OPPD continued discussions with state and area transportation officials to accommodate future road expansion.
OPPD purchased land for the substation from the property owner and, in November 2011, began grading work on the northwest corner of 27th and Platteview.
Work completed through July 2012 included substation grading and site prep work, rebuild of the overhead distribution line along 27th Street, and installation of the foundations for substation equipment. Transmission line construction is scheduled to begin in September.
By mid-August OPPD completed all easement negotiations associated with the transmission lines and began clearing the easement areas to prepare for construction. Through the remainder of August, tree removal crews will be working along the transmission line routes. Starting this fall, above-ground construction will begin inside the substation, as will building of transmission lines leading to the substation.
Construction of the new transmission line was nearly complete as of April 2013. So far the distribution duct bank construction, the distribution circuit from the new substation running east along Platteview Road to Hwy 75, and the transmission structure assembly is complete. The transmission line construction will finish in early May with removals continuing through summer. Crews are finishing construction on the final circuit from 36th St. to 63rd St. along Platteview Road and will complete this in mid-May. Substation construction is progressing on schedule and should be completed with the substation in service by June.