Three additional electrical transmission lines, destroyed during the December ice storms, have been energized by the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). Work continues on repairing the remaining three transmission lines that are being reconstructed and are expected to be operational prior to the summer peak load.
With the assistance of the Erickson “air crane,” a Sikorsky-64 helicopter, 19 of 34 steel transmission structures on the Axtell to Pauline 345-kV line were lifted off the ground and attached to existing structures.
A 230-kV transmission line from Riverdale to Crooked Creek, covering 34 miles with 125 wooden structures being replaced, was energized.
A 115-kilovolt transmission line from North Loup to Spalding, covering 21 miles with 147 rebuilt transmission structures, was energized and returned to service Friday, March 9. Coming back on line March 11, was a 115-kV transmission line between Hildreth and Holdredge spanning 21 additional miles including 109 rebuilt structures.
“We still have some work to re-string existing conductors along these lines and tighten conductor that sagged from the weight of the ice, but we are planning to complete this additional work prior to summer peak loading,” Barry Campbell, NPPD General Manager of Operations said. “The reconstruction team has made some great strides in a 10-week period.” Campbell pointed out that 88 percent of the reconstruction from the December storms has been completed based on the amount of line energized, structures repaired, and wire replaced since December 31.
Three additional lines remain to be repaired. Structures between Riverdale and Grand Island are expected to be in place within the next few months. Additional lines to be repaired include the Axtell to Pauline 345-kV line and the Axtell to Minden 115-kV line.