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Piedmont residents see risks in OG&E power line proposal

About 400 people gathered Monday night at Piedmont First Baptist Church to voice their concerns over a proposed power transmission line scheduled to cut through the community's fastest growing area. Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. officials plan to build a 120-mile-long power line from wind farms south of Woodward to northwest Oklahoma City. OG&E officials attended the town hall meeting and fielded questions from residents.

About 400 people gathered Monday night at Piedmont First Baptist Church to voice their concerns over a proposed power transmission line scheduled to cut through the community's fastest growing area.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. officials plan to build a 120-mile-long power line from wind farms south of Woodward to northwest Oklahoma City. OG&E officials attended the town hall meeting and fielded questions from residents.

OG&E sees line's benefits

OG&E spokesman Paul Renfrow said the power lines will help offset future high electric bills and could even reduce dependence on foreign oil.
"These power lines are going to be built even if OG&E was to step out of the picture," Renfrow said. Other companies are interested in building such wind power transmission lines.

The power line that will affect Piedmont will be built by 2010 and OG&E customers will see an increase of about $1.50 a month to pay for the $211 million line, company officials said.

The line would be fixed atop 115-foot-tall monopoles.

Renfrow said the route through Piedmont was selected because a route farther to the north would come close to an airplane landing strip.

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About 400 people gathered Monday night at Piedmont First Baptist Church to voice their concerns over a proposed power transmission line scheduled to cut through the community's fastest growing area.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. officials plan to build a 120-mile-long power line from wind farms south of Woodward to northwest Oklahoma City. OG&E officials attended the town hall meeting and fielded questions from residents.

OG&E sees line's benefits

OG&E spokesman Paul Renfrow said the power lines will help offset future high electric bills and could even reduce dependence on foreign oil.
"These power lines are going to be built even if OG&E was to step out of the picture," Renfrow said. Other companies are interested in building such wind power transmission lines.

The power line that will affect Piedmont will be built by 2010 and OG&E customers will see an increase of about $1.50 a month to pay for the $211 million line, company officials said.

The line would be fixed atop 115-foot-tall monopoles.

Renfrow said the route through Piedmont was selected because a route farther to the north would come close to an airplane landing strip.

"We are trying to impact as few people as possible," Renfrow said.

He said company officials have found no evidence the line will affect property values or pose health risks.

OG&E officials have said the line, capable of carrying 345,000 volts of electricity, would be the biggest in the OG&E system and carry wind-generated power to a substation on NW 164 between Council Road and Rockwell Avenue.

Concerns over property values

Piedmont resident Julie Riggs said she thinks the line will reduce property values in this growing city. Riggs said the concerns about "a tiny airstrip," along a route farther north of Piedmont should not outweigh the concerns of the number of residents who will be forced to live near the power line.
"I am asking that you stop and go back and re-evaluate," Riggs said.

Resident Alan Blankenship said he does not think wind power is going to solve the nation's energy crisis.

"I am not against wind energy, but it is not feasible right now and it is subsidized by your taxes," Blankenship said.


Source: http://newsok.com/piedmont-...

AUG 19 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16607-piedmont-residents-see-risks-in-og-e-power-line-proposal
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