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Southeast Sarpy County Line FAQs

  What is the Southeast Sarpy Growth & Reliability Project?

The purpose of the 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
Why do we need a new substation and new power lines in Southeast Sarpy County?

This area of Sarpy County is already undergoing growth and development. Much more is anticipated as the U.S. Highway 34 project and the new Missouri River bridge are completed. The new substation will provide the power necessary for new businesses and residences that will be built along these new thoroughfares.

OPPD has historically provided a high level of power reliability throughout our service territory. This project will maintain that high level of system reliability by strengthening the grid in this growing area and provide additional backup capacity in case of storm or equipment failure outages. This will reduce the chances of extended outages for customer-owners and give OPPD more flexibility in system operations.

How were the preferred substation location and power line routes determined?

Public opinion obtained at the first set of open houses and through phone calls, e-mail and Internet contacts played a major role in the selection of both the preferred substation and power line routes. During the selection process, it was necessary to consider the preferred substation location and power line routes as dependent on one another, balancing substation location preferences and impacts from the power lines.

Customers gave OPPD these priorities to consider when selecting the preferred substation location and power line routes:

  1. Distance from homes
  2. Distance from schools
  3. Distance from recreational areas/facilities
  4. Distance from residential platted development
  5. Transmission line length

OPPD combined those priorities with public, local and state agency input to determine the preferred location and routes.

When selecting the substation, OPPD also considered:

  • Access to a major intersection
  • Distance the power lines will be traveling to the substation and to the source of power demand
  • Land constraints from slope, waterways and natural features
  • Impacts to current land use and future development
What goes in the substation? 

The substation is where electricity carried through high voltage, long-distance power lines is reduced to lower voltages so that it can be distributed safely through neighborhoods. Typical substation equipment includes transformers, protective equipment (breakers, relays, etc.) and high voltage switches.

How big will the substation be? 

We expect this substation to be approximately 500 feet by 500 feet. Additional land may be required for drainage, grading, access and additional requirements.

Who determined the preferred substation location and power line routes?

Numerous OPPD representatives from Engineering, Corporate Communications, Call Center Management, Real Estate, Economic Development, Legal, Environmental & Regulatory Affairs, Project Management and Government Relations have contributed to the routing process. This group utilized input from customer-owners to determine the preferred substation location and power line routes.

How tall will the poles be?

Although pole heights vary considerably depending on terrain, typical pole heights are:

  • 161kV: 100 - 130 feet
  • 69kV: 80 - 100 feet
What is a right-of-way?

The term right-of-way or ROW refers to the actual land area acquired for a specific purpose, such as a transmission line.

What is an easement and how wide is a typical easement?

An easement is the right authorizing the use of property for a particular purpose. Landowners are paid fair market value for the easement and may continue to use the land under easement for most purposes, although some restrictions are included in the agreement between OPPD and the landowner. The easement implementation is the legal document that must be signed by the landowner before OPPD can proceed. The amount of easement required will vary, depending on the route and design. Typical easement requirements range from 50 - 100 feet.

If you need to put lines on my property, how will I be compensated?

Compensation for an easement is primarily based on a percentage of the fair market value of the land, as determined by a certified local appraiser. The appraiser will take into consideration the calculated acreage required for the right-of-way (ROW) and the current land usage of the property. At the time of acquisition, OPPD’s right-of-way agent will have that appraisal information available to discuss with the property owner. 

Can I still use the land under the lines?

Yes, but there are some restrictions, such as buildings, trees, burning and grading within the easement area. There are many allowed uses, such as farming, grazing, residential yards, recreational parks, and commercial/industrial parking lots.

When will construction start and how long will it last? 

Construction is expected to start in mid-2012 and be completed by early-2014. Exact construction times will vary depending on the site, routes chosen and weather conditions, among other factors. 

 Will we be notified before construction begins?

Our project website will be periodically updated as the project progresses. As we get closer to the start of construction we will publish more details about the construction schedule. If the line ultimately runs across your property, OPPD will coordinate construction activities with you at the time of construction.

What is the project timeline?

SE Sarpy County Line Project Timeline - jpg

Where can I get more information?

These web pages will be periodically updated as the project progresses. Follow us on Twitter for notification of updates, or join our email list. As we get closer to the start of construction we will publish more details. If the line ultimately runs across your property, OPPD will coordinate construction activities with you at the time of construction.


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