Frisco Council opposes power lines near neighborhoods

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by JOBIN PANICKER and STEVE STOLER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 11:15 PM

FRISCO — Homeowners in Frisco showed up in full force for a City Council meeting Tuesday night. Dressed in white, nearly 500 homeowners and homeowners' association representatives voiced strong opposition to proposed transmission line routes and a substation in West Frisco.

“You have to fight for what it is you want in your community,” said one homeowner.

Brazos Electric is proposing a 138 kilovolt double-circuit line either on Stonebrook Parkway or Main Street in Frisco which would stretch 2 to 4 miles long.

Richard Chambers, a representative Brazos Electric, one of Texas’ largest generation and transmission cooperatives, said the project would provide for increased capacity and better service for the city and its residents. Within 10 years, he said, Frisco would be facing a 70 megawatt capacity shortage. To put that in perspective, one megawatt powers roughly 200 homes.

On Tuesday night, the Frisco City Council agreed to resolutions opposing plans by the energy provider. It voted to hire legal counsel to represent the city in matters dealing with Brazos Electric and transmission lines.

“If we support an alternate path, somebody will be impacted somewhere,” said Frisco Mayor Maher Maso.

Brazos is prepared to file a final report with the Public Utilities Commission in October. Homeowners believe the company is rushing things and is failing to properly consult the affected residents.

Brazos maintains that no official price tag has been set on the project.

“There has not been a cost estimate generated for the proposed line segments that make up the proposed Stonebrook transmission project routes,” Chambers said.

An industry source tells News 8 that there are a lot of variables that go into transmission costs, but that a 138 KV double circuit line costs roughly $1-1.5 million and a substation would cost $3-5 million. The industry source tells us these numbers are slightly understated considering Frisco’s high population density.

Another source estimated the total cost at $38.5 million.

State Sen. Jane Nelson (District 12) sent this letter to the chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission:

“I was informed that the application for a Certification of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) to build the transmission line may include routes that will negatively impact a large number of businesses, homes, and private property."

City Council members and homeowners can now only hope the PUC takes Tuesday night’s vote into account before making a final decision on the project.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com and jpanicker@wfaa.com

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