Blue Ridge Now reports:
Duke Energy announced Thursday that it will take more time to review public comments and consider alternatives to its proposed Foothills Transmission Line.
Duke Energy announced it would not release its preferred route for planned transmission lines in early October as it had planned, saying it needs more time to consider input from the public as well as possible alternatives.
"More time is needed to continue to carefully consider more than 9,000 comments received on the proposed transmission line and create a solution to deliver cleaner, reliable power to Western Carolinas," Duke officials said in a news release. "The company is looking at all options that can meet the region's power demand over the next 10 to 15 years — including possible alternatives to the transmission line, Campobello substation and the configuration of the proposed Asheville natural gas power plant."
It's refreshing that Duke capitulated so early in the process, instead of pumping money and propaganda into a search for third-party advocates. In this instance, the company made the correct choice in seeking compromise. Maybe it could give lessons to some other wanna be transmission companies (psst... Clean Line...)?
So, what are the options now being considered?
Possible alternatives include the reconfiguration of the planned gas plant at the Asheville site.
Configuring the gas plant in different ways could change the related transmission needs, he said. Federal regulations require enough capacity in the system to compensate for the largest generation unit going offline, and if the plans for the gas plant call for a smaller unit, the transmission capacity needed could be lessened.
Duke is looking at different substation options as well, leveraging existing transmission infrastructure and other options, he said, but there is still a chance that the plan could stay the same. Other, smaller transmission upgrades that are already planned will continue, he added.
The company still plans to replace the Asheville coal plant with a natural-gas-burning plant, Williams said. "We're not suggesting the need is not there; it very much is there."
I guess we'll see...