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Construction is complete on a new high-voltage transmission line built that travels through portions of six northwest Iowa counties: Clay, Humboldt, Kossuth, O’Brien, Palo Alto and Webster, MidAmerican Energy announced Thursday.
The 345-kV transmission line, known as Multi-Value Project 3, spans approximately 120 miles in northwest Iowa from a location near Sanborn to Burt and then ending near Fort Dodge. In addition to the new line, the company constructed two new substations, modified an existing substation and rebuilt existing 161-kilovolt transmission lines along the same route.
Construction crews replaced two- and three-pole wood structures with single-pole steel structures, which means fewer power poles per mile, less need for maintenance, and more land available for farming.
“By updating the energy grid, we can better serve our customers,” said Steve Ambrose, project manager, high-voltage transmission, for MidAmerican Energy. “Over the years the population and energy needs have grown and so have our needs for reliability. Bigger houses, more technology and more appliances have led to increases in energy use. By building new transmission lines, we can meet these demands and provide more reliable service to customers. A smarter energy grid will also carry and deliver more wind energy through Iowa and, ultimately, to our customers.”
In addition to updating the energy grid, Ambrose said the project has created economic benefits for local communities, including the use of locally made goods and services to build the project, landowner easement payments, and an increase in annual property tax payments to local counties.
Although the project is substantially complete, residents in the area will still see crews working to remove materials, clean up and restore land affected by construction.
In 2011, the Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. unanimously approved the organization’s Transmission Expansion Plan. It is a comprehensive long-term regional plan for the energy grid that will benefit consumers throughout the Midwest. MidAmerican Energy is assisting with the construction of four of the 17 Multi-Value Projects included in the MISO plan.
In addition to MVP 3, other projects MidAmerican Energy is working on include: MVP 7, a 27-mile line through Appanoose, Davis and Wapello counties in Iowa and MVP 16, a 33-mile line through Henry, Knox, Mercer and Rock Island counties in Illinois.
MVP 16 and MVP 7 are scheduled for completion by mid-2017 and mid-2018, respectively. MVP 4, a 71-mile line through Black Hawk, Butler and Franklin counties, was complete in October.
MidAmerican Energy Company is an energy provider serving 752,000 electric customers and 733,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. MidAmerican’s parent company is Berkshire Hathaway.