Columbia Water and Light Releases New Plan for More Power

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Water and Light released its "Option B" plan to bring more power to southern Columbia. The plans to improve the reliability of the power in the southwestern part of the city have been in the works for almost 3 years.

Because the 3 current power substations in southern Columbia are approaching maximum capacity, Water and Light purchased property off PeachTree Drive.

"Option A" was presented in the Fall of 2010. It required a new substation be constructed. Homeowners living nearby didn't like the original plan, fearing property values would drop and health risks would climb. Columbia City Council sent Water and Light back to square one to come up with a "more visually pleasing" plan.

Water and Light says both Option A and Option B will involve building a new substation, but the difference lies in how to power it. The choices are 69 kv line routes (option A) or a combination of 69 kvs and 161 kvs (option B). Water and Light expect homeowners to favor Option B because the voltage is much lower than Option A.

Assistant Director of Water and Light Ryan Williams says Option A is a better long-term solution, but Option B will be less visual and more of a short-term fix.

If you want to contribute to the decision, you can attend the open house on September 28 at Gentry Middle School. The meeting starts at 6 PM, and presentations detailing Option A and Option B begin at 7. The public is encouraged to voice its opinion about the plans before and after the presentations.