Chandler, SRP Strike Deal On Power Line Placement

Published: Friday, June 2, 2017 - 6:58am

Salt River Project and Chandler have struck a deal more than four years in the making to build a new power line.

“We’re going to be able to bring in needed new service so that we can support economic growth, but we can do so with less impact on the residential areas nearby and I think that fits everybody’s needs,” said SRP Spokesman Scott Harelson.

The utility company will run a double circuit 230-kilovolt power line from the northern end of the Price Road Corridor south to a new substation, in part, along Price Road. That portion of the line will be buried underground.

Residents and Chandler officials previously worried an above-ground line would be too unsightly.

“Above-ground, those are huge lines and the visual look on the premier high-tech corridor in the state would be very negative and adverse to our community,” said Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny.

An option to run a line on Ellis Road would require replacing existing structures near homes with larger infrastructure.

The cost to bury the lines will be millions of dollars higher than to build above-ground lines.

Harelson previously estimated the underground installation could cost up to $16 million a mile.

Chandler will move underground utilities, which will help lower the cost, Harelson said. It will also pay for the difference using aesthetic funds— money SRP distributes to cities to help pay for beautification projects. 

“Those funds are based on the amount of construction we do in those cities in a calendar year,” Harelson said.

SRP and Chandler do not have a cost estimate for laying the lines underground.

Chandler Spokesman Matthew Burdick said in an email the agreement allows the city to use $11.5 million in aesthetic funds toward the project.

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