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New transmission line planned between Neb., Mo.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A new energy company plans to build a 175-mile-long transmission line to improve the electrical distribution system in southeast Nebraska.

Transource Energy will build 170 miles of line from Sibley, Mo., across the Missouri River and in a small portion of Nebraska. The Omaha Public Power District will take over the transmission project at its Nebraska City substation and continue the line from there.

OPPD spokesman Mike Jones told the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/HV1uAW) that the $380 million project has been anticipated for a while and is a priority for the Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission group formed by the federal government that includes all or parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Jones said the utility doesn't yet know how much its portion of the 345-kilovolt line will cost or exactly where the line will go. A routing study will take a few months to complete, he said.

Doug Bantam, chief operating officer for the Lincoln Electric System, a member of the Southwest Power Pool, said the project will be a boon for Nebraska.

"It's additional regional transmission, and that's always a good thing," he said.

Transource Energy was formed by Great Plains Energy and American Electric Power to pursue competitive transmission projects in the Southwest Power Pool region.

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