Duke Energy delays decision on transmission line route

Published 2:30 pm Thursday, October 8, 2015

Duke Energy today has issued a press release saying that the company is pushing back an announcement of where it plans to site its controversial 45-mile 230-kilovolt transmission lines to “early November.”

The Foothills community has been bracing for a line route announcement from the company that was expected to be released in early October.

Duke states in its press release that, “More time is needed to continue to carefully consider more than 9,000 comments received on the proposed transmission line and create a solution to deliver cleaner, reliable power to Western Carolinas. The company is looking at all options that can meet the region’s power demand over the next 10 to 15 years – including possible alternatives to the transmission line, Campobello substation and the configuration of the proposed Asheville natural gas power plant.”

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Robert Sipes, general manager of delivery operations for the Western Carolinas, said, “Our goal is to have the best possible plan with the least impact on property owners, the environment and the communities we serve. Concerns about the transmission line and substation – and the potential impact on tourism and mountain views we all enjoy – are significant.”

Sipes noted that the overall modernization plan is addressing a very real problem that is not going away. Power demand, particularly on the coldest and hottest days of the year, will continue to grow, and the region’s electrical infrastructure must be upgraded to meet that increased demand, according to the company’s statement.

Property owners that previously received a letter notifying them of the route selection process will receive another letter with this information as well. The public may contact Duke at 888-238-0373 or emailWCTransmissionEnhancements@duke-energy.com.