Regional Power Grid Manager Plans $62.5M Office Project In WLR

by George Waldon  on Monday, Mar. 1, 2010 12:00 am  

The project would serve as an anchor user on the south end of a block of land Whisenhunt Investment controls between Pride Valley Road and Chenal Parkway.

Plans call for construction of a $1 million bridge to span Rock Creek and connect a southern extension of Kirk Road with Pride Valley Road. The bridge is part of a $4.5 million infrastructure budget to develop 61 acres. The Rock Creek floodplain accounts for the remaining 19 acres.

A development team is waiting in the wings once the final paperwork is squared away for land acquisition. Nabholz Construction Corp. of Conway will be the general contractor on the project, and the Little Rock architecture firm of Witsell Evans & Rasco will oversee design work.

The project is expected to be a green development with LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, and construction could be in full swing by June once the site purchase is completed.

"We're hoping to move on that quickly, so we can get on down the road," Brown said. "Then we can focus on providing our members services."

Keeping the Lights On

Southwest Power Pool likens itself to an air traffic controller for more than 56 power companies and related entities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri.

Instead of coordinating aircraft landings and takeoffs, the company oversees the ebb and flow of electricity across a regional power grid with 50,575 miles of transmission lines.

Its membership includes cooperatives, independent power producers, independent transmission companies, investor-owned corporations, marketers, municipals and state agencies.

Southwest Power Pool also serves as an independent transmission coordinator for Entergy's network in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

"Our whole goal is to improve their operating efficiencies," Brown said.

The company is a regional electricity transmission organization mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale prices of electricity.



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