Power lines are debated
Published: Thursday, January 17th, 2013
The possibility of Custer County placement of transmission lines for a proposed wind farm in Shannon County has some landowners in the eastern part of the county up in arms.
At the Jan. 9 meeting of the Custer County Commission, the commission heard from the group proposing the project—U.S.-Europe Energy Group, LLC, and Frank Rapp, a rancher in Shannon County, as well as landowners who oppose all or parts of the project.
U.S.-Europe Energy Group is based out of Longmont, Colo., but there are also foreign investors involved in the project.
The county’s role in the project is to decide the fate of Rapp’s application for occupancy of right-of-way in Custer County, as the plans for the project call for placing transmission lines along Riverside and 7-11 roads to a pair of substations that U.S.-Europe would construct. There would be two main carrier lines, one Western Area Power Association, and one Black Hills Power. Rapp said the proposed 23-mile path is the easiest, cheapest route to get power from the wind farm to the substations.
Randy Schroth, who lives near Buffalo Gap and has the meadows across from where a proposed substation would be built, is among those who spoke out against the plan at the commission meeting.
In a later interview, Schroth said he has several issues with the project, first and foremost of which is that the project is not for a public utility, but rather, for a private utility. However, state law does not differentiate between the two when it comes to right-of-way applications.
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