OPPD issues contract for $400 million Midwest Transmission Project

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The Omaha Public Power District board awarded a contract for construction work on a substation that is part of the Midwest Transmission Project, which is the 180-mile transmission line that OPPD is building with its partner Kansas City Power & Light, OPPD said March 10.

The contract, in the amount of $541,525, was awarded to Watts Electric Co. of Waverly, Neb., OPPD said in a statement.

Watts Electric will work on the substation at OPPD’s existing Nebraska City generating station south of Nebraska City. The work to be done by Watts Electric this summer will involve connecting the new transmission line into the substation, installing a line shunt reactor, circuit breakers, relay panels, switches and other components, OPPD said.

The substation work is separate from the transmission line construction work, which was awarded to Timberline Construction Inc., in May 2015, an OPPD spokesperson told TransmissionHub March 11.

Timberline began construction on the Missouri portion of the project last year, and work on the Nebraska portion has begun now that right of way acquisitions have been completed, the OPPD spokesperson said.

“There is litigation that will continue but the rights to construct the line have been acquired,” she told TransmissionHub.

OPPD and KCP&L teamed up in 2012 to add the Midwest Transmission Project at an estimated cost of $400 million as part of a group of priority projects approved by the Southwest Power Pool. The project involves a single-circuit, 345-kV line from near Sibley, Mo., to the Nebraska City power plant.

The Missouri portion covers about 135 miles of transmission line from the existing Sibley generating station in northwest Missouri to a new Mullin Creek 345-kV substation near Maryville, Mo., and on to the border with Nebraska. The Nebraska portion includes about 45 miles of line from the border to the Nebraska City plant.

While the project was initially planned to be in service in mid-2017, it is now expected to be in service by Dec. 31, the OPPD spokesperson said.

As TransmissionHub reported, the developers last year told SPP that the project would be completed ahead of the original schedule.

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