- Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has proposed a 220 mile transmission line across the environmentally sensitive Sandhills in central Nebraska.
- NPPD and wind advocates say the new line would strengthen the region’s electric transmission network and allow more wind development.
- Environmentalists in the SaveOurSandhills group believe the construction would disturb the integrity of the region but Bold Nebraska, a firm opponent of the Sandhills branch of the Keystone XL pipeline, supports it.
The proposed 345 kilovolt transmission line would start at NPPD’s Gerald Gentleman coal power plant and go north to a new substation and then turn east and connect to another new substation.
Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional electricity transmission group of which NPPD is a participant, would pay 93% of the $328 million project's cost and NPPD would pay the 7% balance.
Through the SPP interconnection, Nebraska could use the new line to export electricity, a potentially lucrative opportunity for the state because its wind resource has far greater electricity production potential than the largely rural population consumes.