Area residents get a look at SRP’s plans for Price Corridor expansion

SRP_Open_House_001Residents were able to get a first-hand look at plans for a proposed East Valley power line project that is being proposed by SRP to meet what the utility says will help to meet a growing demand for electricity in the Price Road Corridor.
A public forum, held June 19 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Tempe, came on the heels of an SRP announcement that it has reduced the number of route alternatives for the project.
Six of the eight east-west route segments between SRP’s Schrader Substation and the proposed RS-28 substation have been eliminated, along with another route segment north of Stellar Airpark in Chandler.
Both Chandler Boulevard and the Loop 202 remain for the Knox-to-RS-27 component. The only two remaining route alternatives for the Schrader-to-RS-28 component are Germann Road and Hunt Highway.
According to SRP spokesman Scott Harelson, the elimination of preliminary line-route alternatives is based on siting criteria developed from the public process and technical feasibility.
SRP will now work to refine the remaining route segments and identify locations for two proposed substations before presenting them to the public in a final round of open houses later this year, according to Harelson.
In the meantime, a separate but parallel process to identify potential route alternatives located west of the Price Road Corridor on the Gila River Indian Community is being pursued by SRP.
SRP initiated a process in January to site new overhead 230-kilovolt (kV) power lines and two new 230-kV substations that will provide capacity and improve electric service reliability in the Price Road Corridor.
The Price Road Corridor is adjacent to Price Road in south Tempe and southwestChandler. There are a number of large commercial customers currently in the area that require large amounts of electricity to operate, said Harelson, and SRP is anticipating a significant increase in the number of businesses there in the near future.
SRP has completed two phases of its public process, which included three open houses in each phase.
According to SRP’s Tom Novy, the project manager, the land available for development in the Price Road Corridor makes the area a power delivery “hot spot.”
SRP has determined that the current transmission capacity in the area will not be sufficient to serve projected growth in the future.
The first component of the project, planned to be in service by May 2016, would improve SRP’s ability to keep pace with current and future electrical demands in the area and allow for much-needed economic growth, officials say. The project also would provide benefits for SRP customers in a broader area by adding the infrastructure necessary to increase reliability and bring additional supplies of energy to the region.
The Price Road Corridor 230-kV Project includes a new single-circuit 230-V power line to connect the Schrader Substation, located just east of Arizona Avenue and Ocotillo Road, with a new substation (RS-28) in the southern portion of the corridor. Also planned is a new double-circuit 230-kV power line that will connect the Knox Substation, located north of Pecos Road west of 56th Street, with a new 230-kV substation (RS-27) in the northern portion of the Price Road Corridor.
The two new substations will be connected by a double-circuit 230-kV line. A single-circuit 230-kV power line will also be needed between the existing Knox Substation and the Kyrene Substation, located on the northeast corner of Elliot and Kyrene roads in Tempe.
The public process will culminate with a hearing before the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee.
A final decision on whether to grant a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility for the project is due to be announced at an open meeting of the Arizona Corporation Commission, date of which has not yet been set.
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Photo by Billy Hardiman