Columbia City Council set to address power line issues again

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COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council returned to the issue of installing high-voltage transmission lines and an energy transmission substation in the south part of Columbia at its work session Monday afternoon.

Columbia uses 161 kV transmission lines to import energy from power plants into transmission substations and sub-transmission stations to convert energy into consumer level electricity. The electricity is then circulated throughout Columbia using 69 kV and 13.8 kV transmission lines.

In 2007, power carrying issues started to occur in 69 KV transmission lines on the south side of Columbia as a result of energy system overloading. The city then examined the issues of the transmission issues and came up with three solutions to the problem.

The first proposed solution was to add a 161 KV transmission line into the grindstone substation which was acted on and completed in 2007. 

The second proposed solution was to add a 162 KV transmission line into the Perche Creek substation. The council attempted to solve this problem by offering Option A, Option B and Option B-2 between Feb. 2011 and Aug. 2012.  

The third proposed solution was to add a substation in the southern part of Columbia. The site of this substation was purchased in 2010. After obtaining the substation land, a workshop resulted in Option A, Option B and alternate B-2 as potential solutions to implementing the new shift to prevent the system from overloading.

These proposed options all use a different method of installing 161 and 69 kV high-power transmission lines to better distribute power to the south side of the city. Installing the new sub-transmission power station is also an option in these proposed solutions. 

Most recently, the council revisited the high-power transmission line issue in Jan. of this year, but requested more information causing further delay to voting on a solution. 

Currently, Columbia has three substations: Grindstone, Hinkson and Perche substations. These stations convert energy into consumer level electricity. However, the Hinkson and Perche substations have been operating over capacity since 2007. This could leave the city at risk for power outages and danger of transmitters breaking. 

To read KOMU's story on the outcome of Monday's work session click here.

Below is a graph expressing how close the high-power transmission lines could be placed near differnt types of private property based on each propsed solution.