MidAmerican Energy Company's electric transmission grid now has increased capability to handle higher electric demand when summer temperatures heat up.The 345-kV transmission line, which connects the Council Bluffs Energy Center and a new electric substation in Grimes northwest of Des Moines, IA was energized June 28 and placed in service well before its scheduled September completion. The primary purpose of the 124-mile transmission line is to deliver the electric output of the new Council Bluffs Energy Center Unit 4 when it is on-line the summer of 2007. In the meantime, the line will support existing electric transmission infrastructure.
"Our customers expect reliable electric service and this new electric line helps us fulfill our obligation of meeting customers' energy needs," said Todd Raba, president of MidAmerican Energy. "At the same time, the company's investment in new infrastructure will not impact our customer's electric rates, which are lower today than they were 11 years ago. We have committed to not raising customers' electric rates through at least 2010."
Construction of the 345,000-volt electric transmission line began in early 2005 following Iowa Utilities Board approval of the project in December of 2004. Acquiring land rights to build the project required easements with 438 property owners in Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair, Madison and Dallas counties, and voluntary easement agreements were reached with 437 of the 438 property owners.
"In addition to this project helping provide customers with reliable electric service, it also was a priority to be a good neighbor," Raba said. "The exceptionally high rate of completing voluntary easements showed the commitment MidAmerican Energy has to working with landowners in a fair and equitable manner."