Queen Creek offers high-voltage-line route

TUCSON, ARIZONA - Queen Creek officials are recommending that a high-voltage power line run toward the north of town through an industrial and commercial area that doesn't have houses.

Officials are backing an alignment for a Salt River Project 230-kilovolt transmission line that would steer the project away from residential areas.

Town officials recommended that a segment of the 20-mile power route follow Germann Road east to align with either Signal Butte or Meridian roads.

The $20 million Abel-Moody project is planned to connect three substations in the Gilbert and Queen Creek areas. It is expected to open by the summer of 2012.

SRP officials say that the line is needed to keep pace with growing electrical demand in the southeast Valley. The energy provider has been coordinating with town officials since April on the placement of the new high-voltage lines.

However, the recommendation for the alignment of the power project near Queen Creek is just that — a recommendation, said Scott Harelson, SRP spokesman.

"We appreciate their recommendation, and that is part of the record," he said. "We are still in the relatively early stages of deciding what alternative we will put before the corporation commission."

The Arizona Corporation Commission will have the final say on the alignment for the multimillion-dollar project.

The town's input does have some weight in the process, Harelson said.

The town's task force rejected alignments that could send the power lines along railroad tracks that run through the heart of town and also steered them away from more southern routes that could obscure vistas of the San Tan Mountains.

"These are huge poles. They are 90 to 100 feet high," said Marnie Schubert, a spokeswoman for the town.

Queen Creek businessman Greg Clark said he was involved in the process early and thought about health issues related to high-voltage power lines near his home. He said it makes more sense for the power lines to run through an industrial area than a residential one because people aren't there 24 hours a day.

The power lines will connect the Moody power substation at Recker and Pecos roads with the Abel substation near Judd and Attaway roads north of Florence. A third substation will be built between the two substations, possibly in Queen Creek.


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