Transmission line to be up by 2011
By Matthew Burgoyne
The Georgia Transmission Corporation (GTC) aims to have the new transmission line erected by summer 2011, affecting many property owners in Morgan County.
Currently, the GTC is surveying the land tracts that the line will be constructed on. All of the property owners have been notified of the new line. The GTC is also concentrating its efforts on determining the size and location of the easements. An easement is the land where the actual infrastructure of the line will be built.
The GTC and Georgia Power, who work jointly on planning, determined the Northeast grid would exceed capacity by 2011. The new transmission line will allow for the capacity to increase, allowing for continued electricity service.
Population growth is not the reason this line is being built. Though the population of Georgia is expected to increase by 17 percent in the next five years, the amount of electricity used is expected to increase by twice that much, Jeannine Rispin explains. The line is running through Morgan County solely because of the counties location.
“The reason the lines are going through Morgan County is because of geographic location. We knew which two points needed to be connected and Morgan County fell within that range,” Rispin said.
The line affects 115 parcels of land in Morgan County and spans 28.1 miles within county limits. The line being built through Morgan County is a portion of the “Rockville to East Walton” line, accounting for over half of the lines 46.3 miles of length.
“We know no one is interested in having a transition line built on their property, but we know they are interested in having an efficient electric source,” said Rispin, spokesperson for the GTC.
The purpose of this line is to increase the electricity in the region. If the line were not built, there would be an increase in brownouts and blackouts, Rispin said. Brownouts are partial power loss and blackouts are total power loss.
Before the line route was chosen, the GTC went through a careful routing and citing process to determine where the line needed to be built. The GTC considers land use, historical landmarks, church and school locations, wetlands, and future land use before the line route is chosen.
“We continually monitor the capacity of the grid. If the demand increases, then obviously the infrastructure must increase to deliver the service,” Rispin said.
The GTC urges citizens to conserve electricity, not only for the environment, but also to postpone the building of more transmission lines.
The total cost of the line is $62.3 million dollars. It includes the building of the line and the substations at the two connecting points – Rockville, which is in Putnam County, and East Walton, which is in Walton County.
By the summer of 2011, the GTC hopes to be completed with the project. “We hope to have the lines constructed, energized, and in the grid,” said Rispin.
For more information about the GTC and the new transmission line to be built in Morgan County, visit their Web site at http://www.gatrans.com/.