Lone Star Transmission, a utility company, will hold a public meeting at 5 p.m. tonight in the Stephenville High School Cafeteria to discuss the construction of 300 miles of new transmission lines, which will link wind-energy farms from west Texas to the rest of the state.
According to the public noticed published in the Empire-Tribune, the routes are proposed to cut across 17 counties in central Texas, including Eastland, Palo Pinto, Comanche, Somervell, Bosque and Erath.
“As Texas energy needs continue to grow, safe, reliable electric service depends on adequate transmission,” the notice states.
“At the order of the Texas Legislature, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) created five geographic Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) in west Texas and the Texas Panhandle. These are areas for the development of new wind generation plants. The PUCT also ordered utilities, including Lone Star, to build over 2,300 miles of new transmission lines to connect these zones with other parts of Texas.”
The public meeting will allow residents of affected counties to express their concerns and share comments.
“Comments received from the public are important and Lone Star is interested in learning more about people’s interests and priorities as they relate to this transmission line project,” the notice states. “Lone Star Transmission is committed to working with landowners, elected officials, cities, counties, state and federal agencies and other interested parties to find the optimal route for the line.”
Although the meeting has not taken place, area residents are already expressing disapproval.
Gary Key, a Morgan Mill resident, said one of the proposed routes runs through property surrounding Morgan Mill.
“(We plan on) just letting the state know we don’t really want it to come through a rural area. It will definitely hurt property values,” Key said. “It’s not the best thing that could happen.”
Key is hoping that Erath County residents and elected officials will take steps similar to the city of Fredericksburg, located in Gillespie County, to oppose the transmission lines.
“Fredericksburg is 100 percent against the wind turbine (transmission lines) because it is such a pretty area, but we have a pretty area too,” he said.
The meeting is scheduled from 5-8 p.m. at Stephenville High School, located at 2655 West Overhill Drive.
For more information, call Amy Mullin at (877) 278-8097.