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Progress Energy Apalachicola Area Improvements, FL

STATUS: In progress, with opposition

TYPE: Transmission Line

OPPOSITION: Local Residents and Property Owners; Franklin County Commissioners.

PROSPECTS: Likely

BACKGROUND: Progress Energy is working on a 38-mile transmission line project in Gulf and Franklin counties located in the Florida Panhandle.  The project is scheduled to occur in four segments: Port St. Joe to Indian Pass; Indian Pass to Apalachicola; Apalachicola to Eastpoint; and St. George Island Improvements.  Construction has already begun and is expected to be completed in 2014.  The project involves replacing most existing structures with single concrete or steel poles near their current locations.  Additionally, new equipment, including 69-kilovolt (kV) lines, will be installed, and substations will be upgraded.

Residents of Apalachicola fear that the project, especially new utility poles, will harm the historic appeal of their city.  Residents have recommended that the Progress Energy bury the lines, decorate or paint the poles, move the poles to different locations, or create a new route.  Franklin County commissioners pledged to block any attempt to use eminent domain to acquire land from property owners in the area.  The commissioners also feared that airport operations could be harmed if new utility poles were placed nearby.  Additionally, the commissioners expressed frustration with Progress Energy’s outreach to the County and to the community, saying that the company had failed to adequately justify the need for the project and to address concerns raised by residents. 

SOURCES: Progress Energy: http://www.progress-energy.com/aboutenergy/transmission/florida/apalachicola.asp;
Tallahassee Democrat: http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/tallahassee/access/2140133921.html?FMT=ABS&date=Sep+17%2C+2010;
Apalachicola & Carrabelle Times: http://www.apalachtimes.com/news/energy-5306-grilled-lines.html

Last Updated:  December 9, 2010