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Progress Energy offers no specifics on proposed power lines

TAMPA — Last week, Progress Energy Florida mailed 20,000 letters inviting property owners to a series of open houses.

The utility said it may add about 200 miles of power lines across 10 counties, including Hillsborough, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk, and it wants to hear their opinions.

"At least one proposed corridor could impact your property," wrote Gail Simpson, the agency's manager of public policy.

On Tuesday, more than 100 people came to the Alfano Conference & Banquet Center in Tampa to get some answers.

Progress Energy had computers for people to type in their address and see the proximity of the lines to their homes.

"We don't know where the lines will go," company spokeswoman Cherie Jacobs said. "We don't even know whether the lines will be built."

State and federal approval for the project could take until the end of 2009. The company proposes lines anywhere from 230 to 500 kilovolts, suspended from single steel (110 or 165 feet tall, 9 feet wide) or H-frame poles (120 feet tall, 5 feet wide) that would be 700 to 1,300 feet apart.

The lines are needed, Jacobs said, to meet a state demand for power expected to climb 25 percent over the next decade.

. fast facts

Another session today in Tampa

Progress Energy Florida plans more sessions in areas that could be affected.

The next one is today at the Tampa Marriott Westshore, 1001 N West Shore Blvd., from 4 to 8 p.m.

For more information, go to progress-energy.com/energyplanning or call toll-free 1-888-238-0373.

Progress Energy offers no specifics on proposed power lines 02/26/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:33pm]
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