By Clint Parker
Weaverville – This month Duke Energy purchased 33.75 acres off Aiken Road for $1.257 million, but what is the energy company’s plans for the large tract of land located behind AB Emblem? Duke Energy District Manager Jason Walls spoke the Tribune about the recent purchase.
“You know the residential and commercial growth that’s happening up there with some of those large communities,” said Walls. “The system that really powers communities and all those businesses up in that area are either at or near capacity. So to accommodate that growth we know that over the next several years that we’re going to need to make some investments in the electrical system up there to accommodate that continued growth in the development of the community.”
Walls call the purchase of the 33.75 acres a “…first step in what will be a relatively long process.” Walls believes the process will take anywhere from three to five years. What type of infrastructure is Walls talking about? He named several including polls, wires, and substations which will be needed to maintain service to the area as North Buncombe continues to see expansion.
“The property that we purchased is right across the interstate from an existing transmission line. The property is large enough to do a lot of this work away from neighbors and away from communities,” Walls said.
He made it clear as a better picture of what was needed in the area took shape that Duke would be communicating with local government and residents about plans for the property. “We’ll be connecting with the community to try and listen and learn,” said Walls.
The property was purchased from Harlon and Carolyn Hensley on December 18.
Editor’s note: This story is developing so be sure to read more about it in next week’s issue of the Weaverville Tribune.