NPPD crews are currently making electric system upgrades in O’Neill, Nebraska, that will have a two-fold purpose – increasing the reliability of the system plus allowing the system to handle any future community growth.

“We are spending close to $3 million that will increase the reliability of the local electrical distribution system,” Brent Arens, NPPD Distribution Superintendent, explained. “By improving our transmission lines and substations we are able to increase our level of capacity from 34.5 kV to 69 kV. This voltage conversion is needed due to the increased electrical load in the area.” Arens explained that the O’Neill upgrades will also be beneficial for any future industrial or business development.

Approximately 7 mi of existing sub-transmission lines in the community are being replaced. Additional work includes rebuilding a 115-kV substation, putting in a new distribution substation, as well building a new substation east of O’Neill. The work is also being coordinated with three of NPPD’s wholesale customers that connect to the NPPD system in O’Neill: Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corp., Elkhorn Rural Public Power District, and North Central Public Power District, all of which serve rural customers in the O’Neill area. All work is expected to be completed by late May.