safety.jpg  Safety Feature - Keeping yourself safe during spring severe weather

Whether you believe local meteorologists or not and no matter how many times their predictions might be a little off, we all know that living in Nebraska in the spring brings a strong likelihood of severe weather. Each year in the U.S., more than 400 people are struck by lightning according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most of these accidents can be avoided with a few simple precautions. It is always best to stay alert and be prepared. When thunderstorms threaten, get to a safe place. Remember the following tips for staying safe during severe weather.

  • Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended periods outdoors. Watch for signs of approaching storms.

  • Get inside. No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. Retreat to a safe shelter and stay there at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

  • Stay off corded phones, computers, and other electrical equipment that can put you in direct contact with electricity.

  • Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets.

  • Stay away from windows and doors and staff off porches.

  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.

  • Never touch a downed power line or anything touching the wire. This includes other people or equipment. Always assume the line is live and high-voltage.

  • Do not drive over a fallen power line.

  • Keep children and pets away from fallen electric wires and stay at least 30 feet away from wires.

  • Immediately call OPPD at 1-800-554-6773 or 911 to report a fallen power line.

Regardless of storm severity, remember that your safety is most important. Please take appropriate shelter and precautions during severe weather and proceed with caution after the storm has passed. We plan for all kinds of conditions and use proven procedures the respond. As a part of our storm plan, we have repair crews on standby in case they need to be called back to work. Customers can find outage updates and other pertinent information at

meetingarchive.jpg  Public Meeting Archives

If you missed any of the public meetings or hearings, please learn more by reviewing the meeting materials provided below.

Phase One - Project Introduction & Study Area
Phase Two - Route Segments
Phase Three - Route Options
Online Summary Map

Online Meeting Comments Received Phase 1 through Phase 3
(Map files are larger and may take a while to download, thank you for your patience.)


questions.png Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project?
Omaha Public Power District will build the new transmission line between Dodge and Washington counties. The Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project consists of a new 161kV transmission line to be built between OPPD’s existing Substation 1226 (located near Hwy 91 and County Road 27) west of Blair, Nebraska and OPPD's existing Substation 991 (located on U Boulevard and S. County Road 26) east of Fremont, Nebraska. A new 69 kV line will be built between existing Substation 991 and Fremont Department of Utilities existing Substation B (located on North Luther Road and US 30) in Northeast Fremont.

Who is building this transmission line?
Omaha Public Power District and Fremont Department of Utilities are working together to build a new transmission line between Dodge and Washington Counties. The Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project is a joint effort being funded by both OPPD and the City of Fremont.

What is the purpose and benefit of this Project?
This Project is needed to improve system reliability on both the OPPD and Fremont transmission systems. It will improve Fremont Department of Utilities flexibility for planned outages and augment their ability to diversify their energy options, which includes renewables. As a Southwest Power Pool project, the Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project will provide the necessary reliability and capacity needed to serve future growth for both OPPD and Fremont customers, and enhance economic development opportunities in and around the Fremont area.

What is the Southwest Power Pool?
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) is a Regional Transmission Organization, mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which supervises and coordinates power supplies, transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity. The SPP is a Regional Transmission Organization with members in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas that serve more than five million customers. The SPP ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity.

How will the Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project benefit the community of Fremont?
As the 6th largest county in Nebraska, by population, the Fremont community is positioned well for future growth, specifically for business development opportunities. It is located with major highways that link it conveniently to the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas. Fremont offers a diverse economic base with major employers in the areas of agriculture, food processing, fabricated metal process and electronics manufacturing. The Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project will help to support any future business expansion and site development opportunities, such as Fremont Technology Park and rail-served sites. At each phase we sent a direct mail invitation to everyone in the Project Study Area inviting their participation at the public meetings and online. Additionally, our Project website is updated at each phase with the most up-to-date information and maps for the Project. Finally, the local media has been extremely helpful by announcing upcoming meetings and changes in the Project.

Visit the Routing page to learn more about our routing process.

How was the final route determined?
A routing study was conducted to determine the best overall route for the transmission lines. The routing process involved evaluating several criteria, including obtaining and analyzing public input through a series of public and online meetings, as well as other opportunities. This process took approximately 10 months to complete. Visit the Maps page to see the Final Route.

What is an easement?
An easement is an interest in land which permits the use of that land for a specific purpose. In this case, the project’s easement would permit construction, operation, and maintenance of an overhead transmission line. The easement also permits the trimming and removal of trees and vegetation with the easement to prevent them from touching the line. 

How are transmission line easement widths determined?
Many factors enter into determining the width of transmission line easements, including voltage, structure design and location of the line with proximity to existing roadways. Lines carrying higher voltages require greater widths to ensure proper clearances. Transmission lines along roadways will use the road right of way as part of the easement width. Easement widths will be approximately 100 feet, or 50 feet on each side of the center line, but there may be exceptions based on final line design.

How will I know if my property will be impacted?
If you are a directly impacted landowner, a certified mailing was be sent to the address of record with the county. If you have a more preferred mailing address, please fill out the comment form with all details on the Contact Us page.

What are crews doing on my property when doing environmental and geotechnical studies?
Properties where we have obtained right-of-entry, our environmental and geotechnical crews will conduct studies to assess the environmental conditions along the route. You may see crews taking pictures, surveying, collecting soil samples, and doing soil borings. Soil boring involve drilling 30–50 feet deep holes, which are six inches in diameter, to test for soil type, strength capacity, and electrical resistivity. These soil properties will allow us to determine the most appropriate locations for each transmission structure. Please know that when the geotechnical crews drill on your property, the holes will be refilled before crews leave the site.

Do transmission lines cause illness or have health risks?
Although you may find many differing opinions on this topic, no causal link has ever been proven between electrical power lines and health issues.

What will the transmission line look like?
This Project will use single-pole structures. Click here to view a handout of typical 161kV and 69kV structures.

How much will this Project cost? Who is paying for it?
The total projected, estimated cost of this Project is $35 million dollars. The cost will be shared between Fremont Department of Utilities, Omaha Public Power District, and Southwest Power Pool.

How can I stay informed?
We are committed to keeping all interested stakeholders throughout the Project up to date and informed about project efforts and progress. OPPD and Fremont Department of Utilities distribute a quarterly newsletter throughout the project. If you do not currently receive this mailing, please fill out the contact information form here to join the mailing list.

Updated 2/14/17