The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Transmission line upgrade project begins soon

January 30, 2023 | Jason Kuiper | reliability, T&D, trees
transmission line

OPPD tree trimming crews will be out in several neighborhoods in the coming weeks removing and trimming trees in preparation for a transmission line rebuild project.

The neighborhoods include Candlewood, West Fairacres, Deer Ridge Park and Leawood West, among others.

The 161-kilovolt transmission line, built in the 1950s, runs from North 108th and Blondo streets to South 123rd and Pacific streets. At that time, the area was Omaha’s western edge.

transmission line

This transmission line was originally built in open spaces. As Omaha continued to grow west, neighborhoods and other developments formed around the line.

The line is important to the utility in providing resilient and reliable power to its customer owners.

OPPD is rebuilding aging transmission lines in order to provide more capacity to help bring more renewable generation online. This particular section is just one of several transmission rebuilds OPPD will be doing in the coming years.

All of the historic “lattice” style towers will be replaced with what is known in the industry as monopoles. Monopoles are more streamlined and take up less space. They are engineered to modern industry standards.

Preparing for transmission line work

Members of OPPD’s Real Property & Land Management team have been meeting with property owners to address vegetation and trees that conflict with OPPD’s easement rights and impact the utility’s ability to safely operate and maintain its critical infrastructure. These trees and vegetation will be removed to re-establish the transmission right-of-way prior to rebuilding the line.

“We understand that this will be a disruption for some customers as we go into yards and replace these structures,” said Shane Hanson, manager of Transmission Engineering. “But these new structures are smaller and will benefit all of our communities in the long term.”

transmission line
The transmission towers that will be used in the transmission line rebuilding project are smaller and more streamlined, like the ones on the right, than the lattice-style towers being replaced. Photos by Danielle Beebe Iske

Property owners may start seeing tree trimming crews in their neighborhoods in February.

“It is OPPD’s intent to collaborate with all landowners who will be directly impacted by this project,” said Jake Farrell, manager of Real Property & Land Management. “My team will be present and available to coordinate construction and restoration activities during the duration of this project.”

OPPD expects to begin construction of the larger rebuild project this fall, finishing in spring 2024. For more information about the project, see OPPD’s Transmission Projects site.


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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

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