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New power line plans distress Oklahoma land owners

Gall wasn't too worried about the power line that crossed the property - until he learned it soon could have lots of company. Woodward is on the verge of becoming the hub of the state's effort to harness its wind power potential, so utilities and developers are rushing to get high voltage power lines in place to handle the load.

Woodward is poised to be the hub of effort to harness state's wind energy

WOODWARD - David Gall had it all worked out.

He bought 40 acres with a little pond on it southeast of town about two years ago. The narrow tract was adjacent to a paved road, so he figured the property would be the perfect place to build a new house.

Gall wasn't too worried about the power line that crossed the property - until he learned it soon could have lots of company.

Woodward is on the verge of becoming the hub of the state's effort to harness its wind power potential, so utilities and developers are rushing to get high voltage power lines in place to handle the load.

"We are scared right now," Gall said. "We're getting ready to lose all of our land."

The jewelry shop owner said he worries that installation of additional power lines could send his property value plummeting.

Other area residents are concerned they won't receive fair compensation from companies seeking to build power lines on their property.

Some residents are planning to form a landowners association in an effort to see that their concerns are addressed.

Some estimates... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Woodward is poised to be the hub of effort to harness state's wind energy

WOODWARD - David Gall had it all worked out.

He bought 40 acres with a little pond on it southeast of town about two years ago. The narrow tract was adjacent to a paved road, so he figured the property would be the perfect place to build a new house.

Gall wasn't too worried about the power line that crossed the property - until he learned it soon could have lots of company.

Woodward is on the verge of becoming the hub of the state's effort to harness its wind power potential, so utilities and developers are rushing to get high voltage power lines in place to handle the load.

"We are scared right now," Gall said. "We're getting ready to lose all of our land."

The jewelry shop owner said he worries that installation of additional power lines could send his property value plummeting.

Other area residents are concerned they won't receive fair compensation from companies seeking to build power lines on their property.

Some residents are planning to form a landowners association in an effort to see that their concerns are addressed.

Some estimates indicate Oklahoma eventually could be home to about 6,000 wind turbines. That means more high voltage transmission lines must be added to bear the added electricity load.

Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. has completed a line running from northwest Oklahoma City to Woodward, while the Southwest Power Pool could add two more: one connecting Woodward to the Panhandle and another north to Kansas.

The regional transmission entity is supposed to consider those proposed priority projects soon, but Woodward-area residents like Gall don't want any more power lines.

Suzy Klassen echoed those concerns. Her physician husband, Walter, was recruited to work in Woodward last summer.

The couple wanted to build a family home on 50 acres southeast of Woodward after moving to the area in July, but she said plans for a new transmission line that would bisect the property have put their house plans on hold.

"We have a lot of questions that are just not answered yet," she said.

Gall said he understands the benefits of wind power, but it may not be good for northwest Oklahoma.

"Northwest Oklahoma's not ever going to look the same," he said.


Source: http://www.newsok.com/new-p...

APR 2 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25463-new-power-line-plans-distress-oklahoma-land-owners
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