Thursday, August 01, 2013
“It’s become obvious that purchase of the $600,000 cow pasture on the Kings River was an essential step for more than just the routing of the 345 kV power line through Benton and Carroll Counties, as Entergy has plans that involve building a 500 kV power line east from Kings River to the Independence Steam Electric Station (ISES),” according to Doug Stowe, a member of the board of directors of STO. “That may be why they pushed their purchase of the property before approval by the Arkansas Public Service Commission was secured. Plans of two major corporations are hinging on that site.”
Landowners in Carroll County have protested that they were kept in the dark about a proposed SWEPCO high voltage transmission line that has been in the planning stages since 2006. The first they learned their land might be taken by eminent domain for the 345 kiloVolt (kV) Shipe Road to Kings River power line was in early April when they received a certified mail letter giving them a month to respond if they wanted to intervene in opposition.
The issue has led members of Save the Ozarks (STO) to look at what other transmission lines might be in the planning stages for the area. What they have found is a number of different power lines are in the works including a proposed 500 kV power line that would run east from the Kings River Station at the end of the proposed 345 kV line from Shipe Road in Benton County.
SWEPCO has said it is being required to build the Shipe Road to Kings River power line and the $20-million Kings River Station by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional transmission organization. In the April 7, 2011 publication online, Entergy SPP RTO Regional Planning Process (page 21) is a description of an Entergy project that includes a 500 kV line stretching 150 miles between Osage Creek Station located near the proposed Kings River Station and ISES in the eastern Arkansas town of Newark, a coal-fired power plant owned and operated by Entergy.
Cost estimate for the line is $520 – $570 million, with cost of upgrades to the Osage Creek Station estimated at $20 million. Objectives for the project listed are to improve regional transfer capability, improve regional optimization and relieve constraining flowgates.
A presentation by Jeff Ellis of AEP-SWEPCO on Aug. 30, 2012, included a schematic of the proposed Kings River Substation showing 500 kV lines marked “future” that would enter and leave the substation, according to STO Director Pat Costner.
“It seems likely the 500 kV line shown on the schematic for the Kings River Station is probably Entergy’s 500 kV line that comes from their Independence power station,” Costner said.
“However, Entergy’s map shows only the Independence-Kings River Substation 150-mile leg. Let’s arbitrarily label this as the line that enters the substation. The remaining question is what is the destination of the 500 kV line that would leave the substation? We don’t know that yet, but we will continue to research this issue.”
STO doesn’t want landowners along this proposed route to be caught by surprise, as many were regarding plans for SWEPCO’s Shipe Road-Kings River proposal.
“I think it is important that others be warned of what’s coming rather than allowing utility companies to keep us in the dark and powerless, as has been done in the past,” Stowe said. “That power line would sweep through 150 miles of Arkansas tourist industry, running east through Mountain View and all the way to Newport on the White River.”
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