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Letters on Duke Energy power line


Letters for and against Duke Energy transmission line.


Had we known this, we would not have moved here

To the Lightning: I am writing this in regard to the Duke Energy Proposed Foothills Project. We are within 1,400 feet of the proposed line, but at an elevation that is 150 feet higher than the area proposed for 140-foot tall towers. To keep that in perspective, the towers are 13-story buildings!
We moved here 18 months ago, to get away from the crowded municipalities and high-tension lines and cell towers. Had we known this was coming, we would not have purchased. There are a number of building lots left in our subdivision, and I would expect should this pass, that the real estate resurgence seen in 2015 will not carry into 2016. I would also assume that resale values which have just started to return, will again fall. More importantly, the actual and potentially devastating impact and cost on farming and apple production.
I recognize the need for local energy needs, as well as South Carolina’s. However, Duke is using antiquated technology, Europe has been utilizing underground technology for a while now. This link gives thorough arguments to every question raised by residents and farmers alike.
With the reputation Duke has, this would be the perfect opportunity to be our shining knight, coming to the rescue.
I have read that our legislators are feeling “powerless” and our commissioner has no bullets for his gun; if that is the case, we should remember that in the future.
Lastly, Mr. Roger Sipes of Duke Energy, explains the reasoning, much of which has South Carolina’s needs being fulfilled at Henderson County’s expense. He claims many of the concerns are about the extended timeline, so they are moving it from early 2016, to October 2015. I would say the groundswell of opposition, is more likely the cause for expediting this. Because every day more people become aware of this project, and each newly informed person is another negative vote. He states, “We will listen and consider all feedback to ensure the route selected has the least overall impact on property owners, the environment and the communities we serve.” I cannot help but think, missing from that statement is, and then we’ll do what we darn please!

David A. Toops
Tatham Road, Hendersonville


Growing power demand drives need for new power line


To the Lightning: There have been comments on Western North Carolina editorial pages about the need for Duke Energy’s modernization project, and specifically about our plans to build a transmission line from Campobello, S.C., to our Asheville power plant site.
We appreciate the discussion about our modernization projects, as well as the specific feedback property owners and others have given us about possible routes for our transmission line. These comments are critical to the process, and will ensure that we can pick the best possible route for the power line that minimizes impacts to homes, view sheds, cultural resources and the environment.
The reason we are building the transmission line is straightforward. Our customer’s area peak power demand has increased by 360 percent since 1970 (from 328 megawatts on peak in 1970 to 1183 megawatts on peak in 2014). We expect demand to grow by 15 percent more in the next decade – outpacing expected power demand growth across the nation.
We have combined this project with a cleaner and more efficient natural gas plant to replace our 1960s-vintage Asheville coal plant, as well as related transmission and solar projects. We need this power line to make our Western Carolinas transmission system more robust to reliably and economically handle this growing demand and the region’s population growth.
To address the period of uncertainty while we consider various line route options, we have expanded our project team and will select our preferred route in early October, three months ahead of schedule.
We regret that some people will be disappointed with the ultimate location of the power line, but we are committed to an open and fair process that thoroughly considers all options and comments. We appreciate the comments that we have received to date and encourage those interested to stay informed visiting or

Craig DeBrew

Craig DeBrew leads Duke Energy’s local government and community relations efforts in Cleveland, Henderson, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania counties.