Letter: Rethink Lucky Corridor power lines

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It’s been approximately three months since Lucky Corridor held a presentation about their proposal for a wind farm and transmission lines that would proceed through Taos and onto Farmington. In that time, several FNA (Foothills Neighborhood Association) members have met with people such as Mayor Dan Barrone, Luis Reyes (Kit Carson Coop CEO), and others. A presentation has been made to the FNA Board.

The Taos News has published a two-part series about the project as well. I’ve corresponded with Ms. Lynn Greene, the CEO of the Lucky Corridor Project. Her proposal, which needs to be approved by the U.S. Forest Service and the EPA in accordance with NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), is to build a wind farm in northeastern New Mexico near Gladstone. This power would then be transmitted at 345K voltage that would proceed through Springer, Black Lake, Taos and Ojo Caliente before proceeding to Farmington, N.M. None of this electricity would benefit Taos.

The transmission lines would be held up by between 100 and 170-foot tall steel towers and of necessity be quite high up because of the voltage. The current lines which are owned by Tri-State Transmission are 48-88 feet high. Lucky Corridor’s lines would be doubled because of the increased voltage which would travel east to west vs. west to east as is now the case. The project needs Forest Service approval because it’s going through Taos Canyon.

After researching this project, I have come to the conclusion that these lines are too high to proceed through Taos. They’re equivalent to a 14-story building cutting down the Cañón Bypass and then on to Blueberry Hill. So I have sent a letter to Lucky Corridor’s CEO indicating my opposition to the lines going through Taos.

I am in favor of renewable energy but not at any cost. I believe we need to retain our beautiful views of Taos Mountain. Possibly, there are alternative routes for these lines. The electricity generated by this wind farm will be used for power generation in western states for the most part, from California to Utah and Arizona.

I have sent the attached letter to Lucky Corridor in my name only. Any FNA members who would like to express their opinion of the project are encouraged to send letters and emails to the CEO of Lucky Corridor,  Ms. Lynn Chapman Greene. Her email is lynn@luckycorridor.com.

I’d suggest also copying the U.S. Forest Service representatives who will be making the initial decisions regarding environmental impacts in Northern New Mexico. These are Amy Simms and Sean Farrell from the forest service: safarrell@fs.fed.us and asimms@fs.fed.us.

Anyone with questions can email me and I’ll try to help with answers.

Thanks for you input.

Sincerely,

Rick Reaves, Taos

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