Omaha Public Power District has partnered with KCP&L of Kansas City, Mo., to develop and construct the Midwest Transmission Project, a 180 mile 345 kV transmission line from Sibley, Mo., to Nebraska City, Neb.
The Southwest Power Pool regional transmission organization determined the line is needed to relieve electric grid congestion in the growing region, enhance security and advance renewable energy.
"The Midwest Transmission Project will have a significant role in relieving congestion, improving reliability, and providing an additional gateway for wind energy to reach customers in Nebraska, Missouri and beyond as wind generation continues to expand in the region," said Mo Doghman, OPPD vice president of Power Grid and Energy Delivery. "OPPD is committed to this important partnership and the benefits it will bring to our regional power grid and customers."
Visit the Midwest Transmission Project website to learn more and to follow the progress on this important project.
VIDEO: OPPD Goes Batty to Improve Electric Service Coverage, Reliability
October 20, 2014
What do bats have to do with electricity? Believe it or not, the little winged mammals could make a difference with the Midwest Transmission Project in the works to improve service and reliability. Before construction can begin, OPPD needs permits. Looking for bats, believe it or not, is part of that process.
Patrick Finigan, environmental administrator for OPPD, explained, “Since we have to cross the Missouri River, U.S. Fish and Wildlife deemed it was necessary for us to conduct a bat study for an animal that is about to be listed on the endangered species list.”
That species is the northern long-eared bat. And, during a three-month study commissioned by OPPD this summer, it was, indeed, discovered - just outside OPPD’s Nebraska City Station.
A pair of scientists, working for Environmental Solutions and Innovations, made the discovery July 25. One of them, Michael Mairose, explained the significance. “You accidentally knock down or cut down the tree that they’re in without knowing they’re in there, you could potentially kill the entire colony.”
We should know by April whether or not the northern long-eared bats’ numbers are small enough to put the creature in the “endangered” category. If they are, it will make a slight impact on the route of the transmission line.
“We’re going to have to be in close collaboration with our regulators. In this case, it’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission,” said Finigan, “to make sure we ensure reliability by creating this power line, without harming the animals.”
Very carefully planned construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2015, with the line in service by 2017.
WRITTEN BY: Jodi Baker, Media Specialist for OPPD
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