Duke Energy plans to install a new substation and transmission lines to meet the electrical demands of the growing population and businesses in Lutz and Land O’ Lakes.
The energy company had a public open house at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lutz to share its plans.
Those attending could drop by multiple booths, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., to learn the particular’s about the project’s engineering and potential impacts to traffic, the environment and vegetation.
Construction for the new substation is planned to start January 2020 at an open field in Land O’ Lakes, where Morgan Road and Land O’ Lakes Boulevard intersect.
A 230-kV line and two 69-kV lines will run from the new substation to the existing Denham substation on State Road 54.
Three routes are being considered:
- Route 1 would run down the eastside of Land O’ Lakes Boulevard heading south, then turning east on to Carson Drive where it would then cut south through a trail to State Road 54.
- Route 2 would take the same path as Route 1, while traveling on the westside of Land O’ Lakes Boulevard.
- Route 3 would cross from the west side of Land O’ Lakes Boulevard to the east side of Land O’ Lakes Boulevard and then head south, cutting through an open field and then turning east on Carson Drive, then head south where Route 1 and Route 2 run to State Road 54.
Property owners will be informed by letter in November regarding which route has been selected.
At the same time, Duke Energy will announce the path that a 230-kV transmission line will take to get from the new Morgan Road substation to its endpoint at the intersection of North Dale Mabry Highway and West County Line Road in Lutz.
Currently, Duke and Pasco County are only making a proposal for the 3-mile path, and are working in accordance with the Tampa Electric Company.
Substations control the flow of electricity, taking high amounts of voltage and converting it to lower levels so transmission lines can distribute appropriate amounts to local communities.
Mark Hickson, a Duke Energy associate, was at the engineering booth and stressed the benefit of new lines for backup energy.
“These transmission lines are here to help boost the capacity so that during storms, winter peaks, summer peaks – we’re not in a situation [where] we could lose the area,” he said.
In addition to assuring the project will provide a safe infrastructure, Hickson stated that Duke is keeping in constant communication with the Pasco County officials.
The project will use overhead transmission lines, which the utility officials say are more cost effective and pose fewer impacts on natural resources, such as wetlands and wildlife habitats.
The proposed routes are not in dense residential areas.
Once the official path has been chosen, the public will be informed of any traffic detours needed during construction.
“We might have to close down a lane for a few hours,” said Drew Gilmore, lead public engagement specialist for Duke Energy. “That’s all carefully planned and choreographed.”
The company will avoid causing traffic delays during peak traffic times, Gilmore said.
The project is scheduled for completion in November 2021.
To view the current project proposals online, visit tinyurl.com/ybl5yhfl.
Published October 24, 2018