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CPPD tackles expected 10-year growth

September 6, 2011

Custer Public Power Lineman David Ruether is pictured right installing a regulator north of Broken Bow. Photo by Faye Zmek

Custer Public Power is looking down the road, 10 years down the road. And what they are seeing is growth. And with this growth comes a need for more power.
Last Thursday, Nebraska Public Power Sub T and Planning Supervisor Evan Kinney presented a plan to address what NPPDs study sees in the future.
“The ultimate goal,” explained Kinney, “is to treat the sub-transmission system as one integrated system. And to have the power companies work together to meet the needs of all parties.”
These needs include load growth, capacity, condition and back-up.
Load growth projection for the plan was based on expected growth at each sub-station. The 10-year projections at this point feed back into their five-year plan.
“Growth is strictly driven by our customers’ needs,” said CPPD Director Rick Nelson.
NPPD prepared nine options and a variety of combinations within the options, and then tackled contingency plans for individual phases within each of the combinations.
“The goal was to study the area as an integrated system to keep costs down and to back up the systems. we want the plan to be workable 10 years down the road.”
The plan presented wasn’t the cheapest of the options, but it is the best, said Kinney.
Nelson explained that CPPD creates a five-year plan every year, and that the current five-year plan addresses the 10-year expected growth.
The main issues include load issues at Stop Table, Callaway, and 65 new irrigation wells at Stapleton with 45 of these wells committed to convert from diesel to electric and to come on-line.
Substations historically grow 2.5 percent each year. The entire state is experiencing a growth, said Nelson. especially in the center and in the north brought on by irrigation.
“We have the option to purchase some refurbished transformers which will reduce the cost,” said Nelson.
First on the plan includes a new substation at Stapleton at an estimated cost of $1,052,400 to take the load at Stapleton and Arnold.
The voltage in this area is nearing minimum criteria, said Kinney.
Parts of the plan create alternate electric routes, said Kinney to better handle peak loads, and to be in place in case of emergencies.
“If the projected load comes on board as we think it will in 2016, we need to be ready,” said Nelson. (In 2016, the plan projects voltage problems to enter from North Platte and Tryon as well, and the integrated plan also addresses this forecast.
The details will be discussed by the Custer Public Power Board of Directors at their September meeting, and will be presented at a Sub-T for approval later this fall. NPPD averages four of these types of studies each year.

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