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Public hears power grid plan

MidAmerican proposes area transmission line project

December 6, 2012
By PETER KASPARI, , Messenger News

A proposal to upgrade electric transmission lines through northwest Iowa was presented to the public with the goal of informing homeowners.

The Transmission Expansion Plan 2011, which was approved last December, would improve MidAmerican Energy's service by upgrading the company's electric grids, according to the company.

Divided into Multi-Value Projects, the portion referred to as MVP 3 will impact property located in parts of Kossuth, Humboldt and Webster counties.

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Alan Pedersen, left, of Rutland, listens as Contract Land staffer Steve Harvey explains the details of an upcoming electric transmission line project throughout Iowa.

On Thursday, MidAmerican representatives discussed the project with people who will be directly impacted by it.

Karl Donaubauer, senior engineer for MidAmerican Energy, said there are advantages to the project.

"It provides additional capacity for wind generation," he said. "It'll also help keep costs down for the entire system and for power in your homes."

Donaubauer said existing poles would be replaced with single steel poles.

According to MidAmerican Energy's Tina Potthoff, that will help farmers by eliminating some poles.

"For every three poles, there will now be two," Potthoff said. "This will give additional land to the farmers and make it easier for them to move around."

The public meetings have been helpful, she said.

"There's questions because there's a lot of new infrastructure, and we're happy to answer them," Potthoff said. "This will be good for the economy because it will create new construction jobs."

Dave Lane, a senior right-of-way agent with MidAmerican Energy, said plans haven't been finalized and approved, but the anticipated start date is November 2014.

"Once this meeting is over, we're going to start planning one-on-one meetings with everybody who will be impacted by this," Lane said. "We'll be talking about property access, gates you may have, whether you let your livestock go out on your pasture and the possible construction start dates."

Alan Pedersen, of Rutland, walked away from Thursday's meeting with more knowledge.

"It helped a lot," Pedersen said. "To me, it was important to learn about where the project is going to be and how they plan on doing it."

He said it sounds like a plan that will help the area, especially because MidAmerican wants to use wind energy.

"I think a lot of windmills will go up," he said. "I think that'll be good for people here."

MidAmerican wants to make sure everybody knows about the project before it gets started, Donaubauer said.

Potthoff said questions about the project should be directed to MidAmerican Energy at (866) 950-9588.



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