TNMP high voltage power line
By Basil Gist
The proposed substation in Pilot Point, and the transmission line that would accompany it would stray too close for many property owners in Cooke, Grayson, Denton and Collin counties.
Texas New Mexico Power, at the behest of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, has entered the preliminary stages of finding a route to place a 138-kilovolt transmission line.
Notice of a series of public meetings was sent out to all landowners whose property is within 150 feet of a proposed route.
Of the spiderweb of possible lines, only one would be finalized and built by TNMP, though, in response to the area’s recent and coming growth, other companies that serve the area will come with need to build similar structures.
“This is just the start of it; there will be an avalanche of substations,” said John Augustus, an affected landowner in Celina.
One landowner on Foutch Road in Pilot Point attended the meeting to protest two of the proposed routes that would cut across her property.
“We are a horse breeding operation, and we cannot raise pregnant mares and have foals born underneath these high-power lines,” Tracy Glover said. “It is prohibitive to foal health.”
With this area being Horse Country, many others in attendance had similar complaints.
The meeting itself, however, was meant more to distribute information.
The process for providing opinion or, further down the line, intervening, is more truncated than simple attendance.
Potentially affected or concerned parties in attendance were provided with a questionnaire to be completed and returned to TNMP. All returned questionnaires will then be presented alongside TNMP’s proposal to the Public Utilities Board for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for a proposed transmission line.
Anyone interested in intervening in earnest must follow a different process outlined in a separate document circulated by the PUC, which was distributed not by TNMP, but rather by a concerned citizen of Pilot Point, Shawn Mills.
“Typically intervention is granted only to directly affected landowners,” according to the document. “However, any landowner may request to intervene and obtain ruling on his or her specific fact situation and concerns.”
Attaining the right to intervene includes being required to appear at a hearing to be cross-examined and other legal proceedings.
“I know they need power for all of North Texas, but I think they could probably find a place or a way to distribute power,” Glover said. “We only have 17 acres; it’s going to destroy our property.”