GARFIELD COUNTY, Okla. – Some Garfield County residents are upset as utility companies sort through their plan to build a 360-mile power line that will stretch from the Oklahoma panhandle to Tulsa.
The project will provide new wind energy to customers, but it would have to cross farmland in Garfield County. It’s expected to save utility customers money, but Garfield County homeowners said it will come at their expense.
“Everything is us on this farm,” landowner Lee Frisendahl said. “Emotionally, we’re very connected to this land and we don’t want to move.”
Frisendahl, who has lived on his farm for 20 years, said his family might not have a choice because the Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Co. plan to build that statewide power line.
The power line is part of the Wind Catcher Energy Connection Project, which will send 2,000 megawatts of wind energy to customers in Oklahoma and other states.
Frisendahl said the power lines will bring down the property value of his farm and bring unwanted noise and health concerns. He’s hoping the utility companies will consider those concerns before they start the project.
“We will understand that when they do projects like this, it’s never going to please everybody,” Frisendahl said. “But when it comes near your house, they need to take that into consideration and at least treat you right.”
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission must still approve a proposed rate hike by the utility companies before they can begin the project. Authorities said they plan to have the project completed by 2021.
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