SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A group of neighbors in Green Pond are saying “No to Duke Energy.”
Along Green Pond Road near Highway 417, Duke Energy wants build transmission lines and a new substation. The project, called the ‘Big Ferguson Transmission Line project‘ is raising concerns for some neighbors.
“It is inappropriately sited,” said Green Pond Rural Alliance board member Martial Robichaud. “It should have been sited in the commercial, industrial areas where the need exists.”
Duke leaders said the project is needed to meet growing demand in the area. Robichaud believes the project would work better in a different spot, like along Highway 101 or I-26.
“We are not opposed to growth, there are other areas that this substation and the transmission lines could be placed that would better serve their needs,” said Robichaud.
Some people said the project doesn’t fit in with the agricultural and farmland areas.
“That’s one of the draws we had coming here was having this rural environment,” said neighbor Tyler Rehn.
Rehn is building a home near the proposed project and said it will impact the community, his home value, and his view.
“We kind of rallied together as a community and tried to prevent it coming to this Green Pond area,” said Rehn.
In the past few weeks, signs that read, “No to Duke,” started popping up around the area.
With community members voicing their opposition, Duke Energy has paused the project.
A company spokesperson said they are evaluating other options.
Robichaud said it was a small win, but said the fight against this project isn’t over yet.
“They have indicated that they will come back by the end of February and let us know what they have decided. Hopefully their decision will be that they will move this substation and the transmission lines,” said Robichaud.
Duke Energy said leaders planned to have an open house meeting with neighbors later this month, but with the project on pause, a company spokesperson says that meeting is postponed.
If the project moves forward as planned, Duke Energy reported construction would start in 2025.