Sierra Pacific looks at substation in Johnson Lane |

Sierra Pacific looks at substation in Johnson Lane

by Merrie Leininger

Johnson Lane residents are invited to an open house Sierra Pacific Power Co. is holding to introduce its plans to put an electric substation northeast of the intersection of Romero Drive and Stephanie Way.

The open house will be at Pinon Hills Elementary School, 1479 Stephanie Way, from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 14. Everyone who lives east of Heybourne Drive and north of Sunrise Pass will be notified by mail.

The Bureau of Land Management will also be at the meeting to answer questions. The electric company is leasing the land from the BLM and have to get a permit from the BLM and a special use permit from Douglas County before they can begin construction. The hope to start building in November.

Sierra Pacific will also have to add another set of lines to existing poles as part of the installation of the new substation.

“I don’t think it will be a major impact, but until I see the actual presentation I really don’t know. I know that the addition is needed because of service we get out here,” said County Commissioner Kelly Kite.

Sierra Pacific public relations director Karl Walquist said the station will improve the service to a growing area. Larger transmission lines that carry more voltage will be able to run into the station. Transformers reduce the voltage and allow it to go into a smaller distribution line to a house.

Walquist said some old lines would have to be replaced and new poles will have to installed.

Project Manager Scott Estes said the substation will take up one acre and will be about 3/4 of a mile away from the closest homes on Romero Drive.

However, Estes said, residents should not be able to see the substation because it will sit beneath a ridge.

Estes said it is difficult to describe the substation, but is a metal transformer sitting on a concrete pad and surrounded by a chain-link fence. It is not enclosed in a building. He said drawings of the project will be at the open house.

“We wanted to invite people to see what it will look like and it is a way for the BLM to get public comments,” Estes said.