The City of Oak Ridge has asked federal officials to consider an option that minimizes the impact of new high-voltage power lines planned on top of Pine Ridge, which is between the center of the city and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
The 161-kilovolt power lines will provide electricity to a new substation at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The new substation will service all of Y-12, but it is being built as a subproject of the Uranium Processing Facility. It would be near UPF on the west side of Y-12.
Dale Christenson, federal project director for the UPF, presented the project to Oak Ridge City Council during a November 7 work session. Less than a week later, at its November 13 meeting, City Council unanimously approved a letter that requested a postponement of tree-clearing work that is part of the project in order to discuss alternatives. The National Nuclear Security Administration agreed to a two-week delay, the City of Oak Ridge said in a press release Monday. Y-12 is an NNSA site.
In order to install the power lines, federal officials plan to remove trees and other vegetation from the top of Pine Ridge. The ridge is between Y-12 and two Oak Ridge neighborhoods: Scarboro and Groves Park Commons.
“Several weeks ago, the NNSA advised of proceeding with plans to clear cut 2.1 miles of mature trees and vegetation along the crest of Pine Ridge,” the city’s press release said. “More than 30 79-foot Tennessee Valley Authority transmission towers will be erected along the top of the ridge after clear cutting occurs. Although DOE has been planning this initiative for at least two years, the city has not been engaged in the process or studying electrical options for serving the new Uranium Processing Facility.” [Read more…]