Update on City of Asheville and Duke Energy partnership to identify a suitable site for Duke Energy rebuild of critical power infrastructure in downtown Asheville

Press release from City of Asheville:

The City of Asheville is committed to a collaborative and well reasoned approach to identifying a suitable site for Duke Energy’s rebuild of the downtown electrical substation currently located on Duke Energy property behind the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville. The rebuild of the substation is critical to power reliability of the area.

The City’s top priorities are:
• This critical infrastructure is rebuilt
• Community feedback is taken into consideration
• The rebuild of the substation honors and preserves the established character of downtown Asheville
• The rebuild creates space for maintenance and possible expansion of the Harrah’s Cherokee Center/ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

The City of Asheville has concluded that the intent of the Memorandum of Understanding adopted in September 2021 allowing Duke Energy to explore the concept of moving the current substation to City-owned land currently used as a surface parking lot, has been fulfilled. Specifically:
• Duke Energy was granted right of entry allowing Duke to conduct environmental and other appropriate testing on the properties to see whether it was possible to build the new substation on the City’s property on Rankin Avenue.
• The City of Asheville and Duke Energy coordinated testing activities to minimize the impact on downtown businesses and residents, and
• Duke Energy, with support from the City of Asheville, participated in community engagement with surrounding stakeholders to explore mitigation of visual impacts to remain consistent with the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Utilizing the input received to date, staff from both the City of Asheville and Duke Energy are reviewing possible options for Duke’s rebuild of the current substation. The review is expected to be complete by November at which time Duke Energy and the the City of Asheville will reschedule community meetings tentatively to occur in November or December 2022.

For the latest information and updates, visit https://www.duke-energy.com/our-company/about-us/electric-transmission-projects/rankin and https://www.ashevillenc.gov/projects/duke-energy-downtown-electrical-substation/

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One thought on “Update on City of Asheville and Duke Energy partnership to identify a suitable site for Duke Energy rebuild of critical power infrastructure in downtown Asheville

  1. Grant Millin

    News media needs to ask about progress on the Patton Gas Insulated Switchgear substation (GIS). If a GIS substation works there, it will work on Rankin.

    Next, local news media needs to explain the differences between GIS and an Air Insulated Substation… as was initially proposed for Rankin. An artist rendering of an elongated GIS substation with ‘anti-tree branch’ grating that helps the notion of most or all of those tress staying in place is desperately needed in this fiasco.

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