Here is Duke Power’s justification for the Western Carolina Modernization Project

Well, now we’ve got it straight from their own mouths.  Duke Power’s Western Regional general manager Robert Sipes and has written a guest column in the Asheville Citizen-Times, arguing that while his company will listen to concerned citizens, they also must do what is best for the energy infrastructure of the entire region.  Some highlights include:

Why build a new substation and transmission line?

The existing transmission infrastructure that serves the region is simply not able to provide adequate capacity in the coming years. The new substation and transmission line will connect the new plant and the region to our main transmission system, making it possible to jointly produce and deliver energy to benefit customers in both states. This ultimately saves money for everyone.

The closest location to the main transmission infrastructure is a 525 kV transmission line that runs between McGuire Nuclear Station in North Carolina and Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina. And the closest and most viable location to connect to that line is in Campobello, South Carolina, near where it crosses Interstate 26.

Sipes also says:

The need is real and so too are the emotions property owners have expressed in response to these plans. That’s what makes this work difficult, and why we are using a robust site selection process that’s time tested and considered an industry best.

Either way, it’s clear that the only way to reach a solution preferable to the people of western North and South Carolina is to continue to submit comments to Duke Power and to continue to make your voice heard.  You can submit comments online at or email

Duke Power will be taking comments until August 31, so you’ve only got a couple more weeks!  And even if you’ve already sent an email, send another!  The more comments, the better.