Home » News

Power Line Project is open to the public on

9 October 2009 1,659 views No Comment

FARMINGTON — Landowners on Wednesday had an opportunity to review and comment on proposed routes for more than 80 miles of new electricity transmission lines designed to connect utility stations near Shiprock and Ignacio, Colo.
Hoping to improve infrastructure for southwestern Colorado electricity users, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has worked to develop the new power lines that will direct more electricity from the PNM San Juan Generating Station into the Colorado grid, which includes established electric transfer stations in Ignacio, Durango, Hesperus and Bayfield, Colo.

But there’s a lot of land in San Juan County to cross before the new electricity can reach its Colorado destination. Early project proposals suggest at least 40 percent of the new power lines will cross private land.

Reviewing detailed maps outlining more than a dozen different route possibilities during a public scoping meeting at the Farmington Civic Center on Wednesday, Hart Canyon resident Judy Mapstone said she was concerned construction of power lines strung along 140-foot towers would be disastrous for her community’s clear view of the La Plata Mountains.

“It would be so disappointing to get up there in the morning, look out there and see power lines,” Mapstone said, noting the lines if installed through that corridor could reduce property values.

Instead, Mapstone has recommended the project consider running the line through an alternate proposed route crossing


Chokecherry Canyon, where residential views would be less of a concern.
“Just talking to everyone here, I feel like in the end, they will choose the best route that will not affect the most people,” she said.

Because a majority of the project will cross federal Bureau of Land Management property, the project is open to public comment through Nov. 8, providing residents an opportunity to identify potential challenges and recommend the best options to deliver power from Shiprock to Ignacio.

“They’re really looking to see what the greatest impacts are,” Tri-State spokeswoman Karli Nelson said of the transmission line route planning. “Those with the greatest impacts are the ones we want to avoid.”

Weighing available resources and public feedback provided during the comment period, Tri-State will develop a route recommendation by next spring, Nelson said.

A second public comment period to address the final plans will occur prior to power line construction.

Living north of Aztec, Les Lundquist said he appreciated the variety of potential routes taken into consideration, but he hopes the line doesn’t utilize the option that would build new towers over his land.

“I’m not really too excited about that,” he said. “I’m flexible. If they can make it so it doesn’t look that bad, it’s fine.”

The company will negotiate with private landowners to ensure minimal disturbance from the new infrastructure, Tri-State said.

“No one wants it in their backyard,” said Byron Nelson, of Tierra Right of Way Services, a contractor hired to mediate land disputes during the project development.

“But someone has to have it in their backyard or someone (else) doesn’t have power.”

The new power lines will not provide any new service to San Juan County. Tri-State is the primary electricity provider to southwest Colorado’s La Plata and Montezuma counties, which stand to benefit most from the new line. The company also serves neighboring New Mexico communities including Chama and Cuba.
James Monteleone:


By James Monteleone

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Comments are closed.