- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Shelby County residents on the south side of Interstate 64 at Simpsonville are in the midst of another proposed change to their quiet country area.
Fresh on the heels of the two outlet malls’ receiving zone changes and preliminary approval to build at the interchange of Buck Creek and Veechdale roads and I-64, now Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative is planning a new substation for the area that would include running large, 69-kilovolt lines from the current substation about 3.5 miles east, near I-64 Exit 32. The company will purchase 1.5 acres to house the substation.
The company held an open house on Feb. 19 to try answer questions and gather information from the area residents, and more information can be found at www.ekpc.coop/Transmission/Veechdale_OT%20packet_WEB.pdf.
From its Winchester plant, EKPC generates and transmits electricity to 16 Touchstone Energy Cooperatives in Kentucky, including Shelby Energy Cooperative.
“We’re planning to construct the transmission line and substation to serve the growing commercial needs,” said Nick Coomer, external affairs manager for EKPC. “It’s too early to say where the lines will be, but we’re negotiating with land owners on both sides [of the interstate]. A lot of it will depend on what we’ve heard from those in the area and where we purchase the substation land. We have to have that second point before we can finish making our line.”
Homeowners in the area are concerned that the lines will come down the south side of I-64 through several residential areas.
But Coomer said the company has developed a study area that encompasses both sides of I-64, and he said officials have looked at both sides of the interstate for property to purchase for the substation.
The need for the new transmission lines – which are routed by using large steel poles – Coomer said is to provide power for the two proposed outlet malls.
“It’s my understanding that there are two sizeable developments coming in the area, and this will provide the infrastructure needed to provide power to those two developments.”
Coomer said EKPC prefers to work with homeowners and residents to find the best route for the lines and when it comes to negotiating for easements.
“It’s important to remember that we’re not looking to take property from owners; we’re just looking to negotiate an easement,” he said. “We much prefer to reach an agreement with the property owner, but they will retain the use of the property.”
Coomer said there is very little maintenance that goes along with the transmission lines.
“Construction crews will need to come through, but once the poles are up and the lines are in place, there’s very little need to access for maintenance,” he said. “These are pretty sturdy lines.”
And although smaller residential lines can be buried, Coomer said it’s difficult to bury the larger transmission lines.
“Typically, with transmission lines, because they’re so much bigger and have so much more voltage, it’s very expensive to bury them,” he said. “We have to deal with protection from that voltage and with the high temperatures that come off them.”
Want to comment?
EKPC will accept until Friday public comments about the area being studied for the lines. If residents would like to discuss options for their property or pass on concerns, they can contact Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative at 4775 Lexington Road, Winchester, 40391.