The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Upgrades position STP for future growth

October 22, 2018 | Jodi Baker | economic development, reliability, T&D
Sarpy Transmission Project

Flexibility is key when you’re planning for the energy needs of commercial, industrial and residential customers. That’s especially true when you’re talking about a growing area like Papillion and Sarpy County.

The Sarpy Transmission Project (STP), designed to meet the area’s growing electricity demand, will be energized in December 2019. As planning efforts move forward, the project is getting some forward-thinking upgrades.

Sarpy Transmission Projectcommunity input

OPPD reached out to stakeholders between June and August, 2017 to share information about the project and receive input. A route was announced the following month to connect substations near 114th Street and Cornhusker Road and 144th Street and Schram Road.

“However, in light of continued interest in the STP area, OPPD took a second look at the selected route, and we made slight modifications,” said Dannie Buelt, manager-Transission Engineering.

“We continue to see a great deal of development interest in that area between,” said Tim O’Brien, OPPD director of Economic Development & Extrenal Relations. “By upgrading our approach to this transmission line now, we’re better positioning to accommodate planned and anticipated growth.”

The 6.5-mile line will move to the west on Schram Road before connecting with a substation to the south. This keeps STP closer to areas of anticipated and planned load growth.

The transmission voltage will also be upgraded to accommodate higher energy capacity. Some of the project’s distribution lines, which were going to run underneath high voltage lines, will shift, as well. They could possibly be buried as the project comes to fruition.

“Making upgrades now will help OPPD ensure electric service reliability in this area while increasing system flexibility into the future,” Buelt said.

public hearings
T&D_STP open house inside
A public hearing will take place Oct. 23 to discuss the Sarpy Transmission Project.

OPPD invited landowners directly impacted by the project to a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at 10508 S. 144th St. District representatives will be on-hand to answer questions and receive comments.

“The hearing begins the next phase of this project,” said Jake Farrell, OPPD manager of Building Services & Operation. “We’re transitioning from routing and siting phase that engineering used to design the facilities to right-of-way acquisition.”

OPPD worked with landowners directly impacted by the project since the announcement of the final route in August 2017.

“We wanted to understand their properties and help mitigate impacts as we designed the line,” Farrell said. “We’re excited to continue our discussions with landowners as we shift to acquiring the necessary rights for OPPD to operate and maintain the facilities necessary for the future growth in the area.”

It’s a partnership, Farrell said, and OPPD will remain flexible.

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About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker contributes stories to The Wire in addition to serving as a media liaison for OPPD. She was a reporter, working for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to San Diego, prior to joining the utility in 2013. Jodi has a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, with a minor in Criminal Justice. She’s married with two older children and two younger dogs – Shi Tzu mixes. She loves watching her daughter’s track meets, going to concerts with her husband Dave, who used to co-host a local music video program, and traveling whenever possible.

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