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Georgia Power holds meeting on 55-mile transmission line

Georgia Power representatives visited Thomson on Dec. 7 to field questions about plans for a 55-mile transmission line. The company said 25 people attended the meeting.

The line will distribute power generated at the expanded Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro in Burke County and will course through Jefferson, Warren and McDuffie counties to the Thomson Primary Substation.

Konswello J. Monroe, a media relations representative for Georgia Power, said the expanded Plant Vogtle will generate 4,400 megawatts, enough power to serve 1.4 million homes. The Thomson-Vogtle 500 kV transmission line will help support the two new nuclear generating units.

The public was invited to the evening session at The Depot, where company specialists gathered around maps and photos detailing the route across outlines of parcels. "We've invited the public out -- residents, community leaders, concerned citizens," said Ms. Monroe. She said agents on hand represented the company's many disciplines, including routing, acquisition and environmental concerns such as wetlands. She said the company also hears concerns about electromagnetic fields. "Actually, there are more electromagnetic fields in your home. The TV, hair dryer -- anything you plug in -- produces more (electromagnetic field) than the transmission line," Ms. Monroe said. She said company representatives are available to visit homes to measure EMF if requested.

Ms. Monroe said Plant Vogtle went online in 1987 and Unit 2 was completed in 1989. Preliminary site work has begun on Units 3 and 4. The company expects the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue Combined Operating Licenses to build and the new nuclear power units in 2011. Unit 3 is expected to be complete in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2917.

Acquisition for the transmission line is scheduled to begin in the summer, with construction beginning in summer 2013 and the line in service by early 2016.

She said the power company needs a 150-foot swath of land for the towers and lines. Some restrictions are placed on land use to allow access to the lines for repair and maintenance. No permanent structures can be constructed, and no plants can grow more than 15-feet tall.

In an e-mail, Ms. Monroe said 44 property owners in McDuffie County are affected by the transmission line's route. The route will affect 96 property owners in Burke County, 39 in Jefferson County and nine in Warren County.

The company conducted public information meetings in Warren County and Waynesboro before the Thomson meeting and planned a final meeting Tuesday at the Wrens Community House.

Anyone with questions about the project may call Georgia Power at (706) 505-5000.

Web posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010

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