Duke proposes expedited announcement for new transmission line

Duke Energy has moved its timeline for announcing a new transmission line located in the Upstate from January 2016 to October 2015.

The proposed 40-mile line will connect a new substation in Campobello with Duke Energy’s new Asheville power plant. The company said it was part of its $1.1 billion Western Carolinas modernization project “that includes replacing [the] Asheville coal plant with a new natural gas power plant.”

“We’ve been listening closely to potentially impacted communities and landowners along the study routes and have heard overwhelmingly from them the need to expedite the review process to reduce the period of uncertainty for selecting the final route,” said Robert Sipes, Duke Energy’s Western North Carolina regional general manager, in a statement. “We’ve expanded our team, accelerated the schedule and are committing to complete our comprehensive process for route selection by early October.”

Sipes added the company “welcomes all input as this will be a transparent process to all interested parties.”

Duke Energy is looking at various “line segments” for the new 230-kilovolt transmission line. According to Duke, the project will meet a growing power demand in the region and produce cheaper electricity “and significantly enhance long-term power reliability in the region.”

The company has already extended its public comment period to Aug. 31 in addition to holding community meetings in the region. Duke said it has received over 3,000 comments to date.

Duke Energy, which serves the Upstate, has accelerated selecting a proposed electric transmission line route that will pass through the Upstate to October. The 40-mile line is proposed to connect a new substation in Campobello with a new power plant in Asheville. The original announcement was slated for January.

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Alyssa BennettDuke proposes expedited announcement for new transmission line