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Progress transmission lines to mostly follow existing paths

This corridor along Sunshine Grove Road north of State Road 50 is part of where Progress Energy will run transmission lines through Hernando County. The 200-mile project could impact as many as 13,500 property owners in Florida.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

This corridor along Sunshine Grove Road north of State Road 50 is part of where Progress Energy will run transmission lines through Hernando County. The 200-mile project could impact as many as 13,500 property owners in Florida.

Backyard warriors around Tampa Bay can breathe easier today, as Progress Energy unveils its map outlining 200 miles of planned transmission lines that avoid the region's most controversial areas.

None of the new transmission project will be built in Pasco County, where residents hotly opposed an east-west corridor along State Road 54. In Pinellas County, the lines will avoid both Brooker Creek Preserve and Crescent Oaks, to the relief of power line opponents.

All but 20 miles of the 200-mile project will follow existing routes. New transmission lines will slice through parts of northwest Citrus County, along a stretch south of Wildwood in Sumter County, and a small swathe northwest of Brookridge in Hernando County. In Hillsborough County, upgraded lines will follow existing paths.

"Transmission is probably the hardest thing we build because it impacts the most people directly," said Jeff Lyash, president and CEO of Progress Energy.

The $3-billion project will carry electricity south from Progress Energy's $14-billion planned nuclear power plant in Levy County several miles north of Crystal River. The utility will file in June for environmental approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The review will take 12 to 18 months.

The project could impact as many as 13,500 property owners, who will begin receiving letters from Progress Energy this week, Lyash said. Negotiations for property and easements will start later this year. The project is slated for completion by 2016.

Times staff writers Chuin-Wei Yap, Theresa Blackwell, Chandra Broadwater and Rodney Thrash contributed to this report. Asjylyn Loder can be reached at

(813) 225-3117 or aloder@sptimes.com.

Power lines: By the numbers

5,000

Number of miles of transmission lines in Florida.

1,100

Number of miles of new transmission planned in Florida over the next five years.

200 Number of miles of transmission that Progress Energy plans to build or upgrade to carry power from its planned power plant in Levy County.

180

Number of miles of Progress Energy's project will follow existing transmission corridors.

13,500

Number of properties within 250 feet of the transmission corridor.

Source: Progress Energy





Progress Energy's transmission line routes

Progress Energy plans to upgrade 200 miles of transmission lines to carry power from its proposed Levy County nuclear plant. All but 20 miles will follow existing transmission routes. For detailed maps, go to the Fueling Station at blogs.tampabay.com/energy.

Progress transmission lines to mostly follow existing paths 05/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2008 1:48pm]
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