APS seeks public input on new north Scottsdale 69-KV power line

A view of the study area where APS is looking to build a new 69-kilovolt power line to service about 10,000 Scottsdale homes. (Submitted graphic)

A view of the study area where APS is looking to build a new 69-kilovolt power line to service about 10,000 Scottsdale homes. (Submitted graphic)

Arizona Public Service is in the early stages of identifying a route for a new 69-kilovolt electrical power line to ensure deliverability to about 10,000 north Scottsdale homes in the event of a natural disaster resulting in a loss of electrical power.

The north Scottsdale area — in this case the area of Frank Loyd Wright to the north, Shea Boulevard to the south, Loop 101 to the west and East Via Lina Lane to the east — is served by numerous substations but in the event of a power outage existing infrastructure would likely be overwhelmed and fail, APS officials say.

The new power line will cure the potential overload problem, according to Kevin Duncan, APS senior siting project manager.

“In this case, the substation in questions, the Cactus and Altadena substations, do not have direct 69-KV systems between them,” he said in a Dec. 1 phone interview. “There is not a redundant feed between those two sites. As the 69-KV system continues to expand the development in the north Scottsdale is putting more demand on the 69-KV system.”

Steven Gotfried, a spokesman for APS, says neighborhood power sources are like a spider web of deliverability.

“It becomes an issue if a string of lines would go down, without the redundancy, customers would have to wait for that line to go back up and that can take hours, even days,” he said in a Dec. 1 phone interview. “If you have power coming from two separate sources, you can get power from the other line.”

The ultimate goal is to connect the Cactus Substation at Shea Boulevard and 90th Street with the Altadena Substation at Frank Loyd Wright Boulevard and Altadena Avenue, a letter sent out to Scottsdale homeowner states.

“There is no issue now, this is more of a project to address any future needs,” Mr. Duncan pointed out. “We want to hear from the public where they want to see a power line or where they don’t want to see a power line. We want our studies to be transparent.”

In its pursuit of transparency, APS hosted an open house on the project Nov. 19 at Desert Mountain High School, 12575 E. Via Linda.

“At this point we didn’t put an end to the public comment period,” he said noting residents can still comment on the project. “There will be one more open house — the decision on the line will likely come in Spring 2016 with construction starting in 2017.”

While Shea Boulevard seems to be the most logical route, Mr. Duncan says no decisions have been made.

“Shea boulevard has an existing power line on it and this is something that is being considered,” he said. “All options are on the table, but that is one of the alternatives that is definitely under consideration.”

To learn more about this upcoming project, go to aps.com/siting. Public comment can be sent to altadenacactusproj@aps.com or by calling 1-888-666-6470.

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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