Group calls on Salt River Project to bury transmission lines

A group calling itself Arizona Communities United is sponsoring an online petition to force the Salt River Project (SRP) to bury certain electric transmission lines rather than using an above-ground route, according to TransmissionHub.

The petition calls upon members of the Arizona Corporation Commission, Gila River Indian Reservation, and Chandler City Council to reject any SRP applications for above ground routes for co-located 230 kV and 69-kV power lines in the southeast Chandler community.

“SRP is planning to run over 14 miles of above ground high voltage 230kv and 69 kV power lines throughout south Chandler along the Arizona Avenue corridor southbound from the Schrader station on Ocotillo and onto the Gila River Indian Community, circling back to the R28 substation on Old Price Rd,” according to the online petition.

“This action will forever change our rural visual landscape envisioned in the original master plan for southeast Chandler and will negatively impact the area, decreasing home and land values,” according to the petition.

The online petition is being filed in connection with the Docket# L-00000B-15-0059-00170.

SRP explained its case for the project in a page on its website.

“Economic development is occurring in areas of Tempe and Chandler as high-tech companies and industrial manufacturers expand operations and build new facilities,” SRP said on its website. “As a result, SRP is forecasting increased demand for energy in the area known as the Price Road Corridor (PRC),” SRP said.

SRP applied for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility with the Arizona Corporation Commission on Feb. 27. The Line Siting Committee public hearings were held March 30–April 1 and the Siting Committee has recommended approval of the certificate, SRP said.

That recommendation will now go to the ACC, which will make a final determination. SRP says the area’s current transmission system will reach full capacity in 2017.

Today the SRP power district is one of the nation’s largest public power utilities. SRP provides electricity to more than 984,000 retail customers in a 2,900-square-mile service area that spans three Arizona counties, including most of the metropolitan Phoenix area.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 22 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants.

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