By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A small crowd greeted Clean Line Energy officials Thursday morning as they talked with landowners about the $2 billion transmission line project that will run south of Enid.
The open house at Cherokee Strip Conference Center was one in a series held for area property owners to see where the lines are proposed and make suggestions about alternate routes or potential problems along the way. Sarah Bray, of Clean Line Energy, said the Enid open house was the smallest meeting they have had.
A representative of Roberts Ranch said his company uses pivot irrigation systems, and officials were concerned about the effect of the lines over those systems.
Others present were concerned about the method of payment for their rights of way, and some identified their homes to be certain they were in the proper place on the map.
At an open house Wednesday in Woodward, some landowners were skeptical.
“It might be all right if they listen to the landowners,” said Dan Deweese, who owns property north of Woodward.
Deweese said he has had problems with energy companies running lines on his land in the past.
Danny Feerer, property owner near Fargo, also had concerns.
“I chose to live in the country, not in a city, and I don’t want giant power lines running across my front door. I’m fifth-generation to live on this land, and I just don’t want to see it go to heck on my watch.”
Mario Hurtado representing Clean Line Energy, said they try to avoid areas where there is pivot irrigation, so their lines are not traveling across those properties. He said they are interested in making sure they know where everything is, so they can alter the path of the lines, and they also are concerned about environmental issues. The transmission lines will go through areas that are a habitat for the lesser prairie chicken.
Hurtado said a high-voltage line of about 600 volts will stretch about 750 miles from a wind farm near Guymon to near Memphis. The $2 billion project will provide electrical power to the Southeast and Mid-South, Hurtado said.
“The wind potential in Oklahoma is tremendous. There is enough wind in Oklahoma to power all of the electric needs of Oklahoma 25 times in a year,” Hurtado said.
The electricity is transmitted from really windy regions to bigger markets in the South, he said. The company currently has four projects in development. Clean Line Energy recently became an Oklahoma public utility. The company will use high-voltage direct current technology to minimize energy losses and have a smaller footprint compared to alternating current technology. Each of the four projects will cost $2 billion to build.
Chris Cooper of the Woodward News contributed to this story.