Columbus – At its regularlyscheduled August meeting Friday, the Nebraska Public Power District Board ofDirectors approved a pair of resolutions.
Theseresolutions were in regards to the utility's electric transmission projectsneeded to serve the proposed new route for TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline.
Thefirst resolution directs NPPD management, at TransCanada's request, to restartNPPD's planning work on the Keystone XL transmission line project. NPPD isresponsible to provide electric power to its wholesale customers who, in turn,would serve the pipeline directly, at retail.
Thesecond resolution ensures the Canadian company, by contract, will reimburseNPPD for all expenses incurred to build electric infrastructure to serve thepipeline.
NPPD'swork to plan transmission facilities for the Keystone XL project began in 2009.
Itwas halted at TransCanada's request in December 2011. Since then, TransCanadahas redirected a portion of the pipeline's route through Nebraska.
Basedon the new, proposed pipeline route moving east, NPPD will need fewer miles ofpower lines to meet the service request.
"Asa public utility, we want landowners [in the area] to be involved in helping usdetermine new line routes," said NPPD's Vice President of Operations Tom Kent."We went through this process for the original pipeline route and intend to doso again now that it has changed."
Byrestarting work on the project NPPD will focus on its regular line routingprocess with public involvement.
"TransCanadahas asked us to resume our transmission planning process," said Kent, "whichincludes meeting with landowners and community officials in areas near andalong the possible transmission lines to provide feedback and input. We expectto start this process by the end of August."
Allcosts incurred by NPPD related to this project are covered by TransCanada, evenif the pipeline does not get built.
"Ouragreement for financial reimbursement with TransCanada protects Nebraskaratepayers from any risk they may have to foot the bill," said Kent.