FRISCO — The line stretched out the door at the Frisco Heritage Center Tuesday evening as residents slowly filed into a room with Brazos Electric consultants.
Residents came armed with questions — some peeved, and others curious — about a proposal that would install a high voltage transmission line and substation in Frisco.
"It's preposterous to go through a residential area after the fact,” said Carol Johnson.
Brazos Electric is one of Texas’ largest generation and transmission cooperatives. A representative said the project would provide for increased capacity and better service for the city and its residents.
"The studies show you are not at a capacity shortage now... it's future capacity we're building this project for,” explained Brazos Electric representative Richard Chambers.
Chambers said within 10 years, Frisco would be facing a 70 megawatt capacity shortage. To put that in perspective, one megawatt serves roughly 200 homes.
The proposed line would cut through two major Frisco corridors: Main Street and Stonebrook. The poles would rise 120 feet with a base of four feet.
The entire line would stretch close to four miles and touch several subdivisions in Frisco. No price tag has been set on the project.
"To see all these high wires and everything, we're just not used to them here,” said Manford Rowe, whose home is currently 300 yards from a proposed substation.
Rowe is just one of many residents deeply concerned about the radiation, the aesthetics, and the impact on home values.
Residents asked about alternatives like other routes and implored Brazos Electric to look into underground options. Chambers said that is not an viable option because of the cost. He said one consultant put the price differential between overhead wires and underground conduits at 60:1.
The city is quietly preparing its own review of the project.
“Frankly, as a city we're taking these concerns seriously, and we plan on taking actions that support our residents,” said Mayor Maher Maso.
The Public Utilities Commission still needs to approve the project. Brazos hopes to have a final report to the commission filed by October.