Columbia transmission line project to be discussed Tuesday

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 | 5:35 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Columbia Water and Light will hold an open house to discuss a project for new transmission lines in the southern part of the city.

The open house will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a presentation from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Tuesday. It will be held at Stephens College's Windsor Auditorium at 1405 E. Broadway.

Since 2007, the city has discussed adding a new substation and transmission lines to increase electricity reliability and reduce power outages. 

The city is looking at ways to connect the Mill Creek Substation on Peach Tree Drive to other substations. After getting feedback from residents, representatives of Columbia Water and Light will present three options Tuesday. 

There are two types of lines — 161 kilovolt and 69 kilovolt — that could be used in the project. The 161 kV high voltage lines run from the power plant and between transmission substations that convert 161 kV to 69 kV. The 69 kV lines run from the transmission substations to the subtransmission substations that convert electricity to 13.8 kV, which is usable for consumers. 

Option A will have three 161 kV lines to connect the Mill Creek Substation to the Grindstone, Perche and McBaine substations. There are multiple possible routes for the transmission wires. Option B will have one 161 kV line that would connect Mill Creek and McBaine to Perche and would add two 69 kV to existing loops. Option B-2 is similar to option B but would run 22 percent longer. 

A report on the options is available on the city website. 

At the open house, city officials will talk about the advantages, disadvantages and cost estimates of each project. There will also be a discussion as to whether the lines should be overhead or underground.Underground lines would cost five times more than overhead lines, according to Missourian reporting from 2010.

A feedback form will be available to residents on the city's website on Nov. 13. The final routes will be selected by the City Council after a public hearing. 

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.

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