First look: Proposed design of Duke Energy’s downtown Asheville substation

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Here’s a look at conceptual drawings for a new Duke Energy substation at the corner of Patton and Clingman avenues in downtown Asheville.

Behind-the-scenes negotiations continue among city of Asheville officials, officials with Duke Energy and representatives of local neighborhoods as Duke Energy, which has been searching for a substation location for about the past four years, focusing in on a former car dealership site at 252 Patton Ave. Duke Energy has the property under contract to buy.

But just like other downtown locations, it is problematic. The property is a high-profile corner of town; there’s a large new apartment complex under construction just across Clingman Avenue from the site, and the WECAN neighborhood is adjacent to the site.

The drawings show that the substation would be built below grade in an effort to shield it from its surroundings.

Update: Loyal reader Lynn writes in with the following correction to my earlier story:
Jason, speaking as WECAN delegate engaged in this issue, I am glad to see you covering the story. There is one error in your description on the type of technology Duke has an option to use. Your story states the technology is a “transformer powered by natural gas.” The technology is actually Gas Insulated Substation. This GE Youtube video provides some good general knowledge. This technology is some 50 years old and is 1/5 the size of the common air insulated substation like on Rankin Ave. or on Desoto St. in West Asheville.
Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. annie June 20, 2017

    what kind of public comment session will be held? asking for a friend on FB.

  2. orulz June 20, 2017

    Whatever happened to the idea of putting it at the back of the lot behind the old Matthews Ford? That’s the best idea I’ve seen proposed so far. The Asheland/Hilliard and Patton/Clingman corner are both really prominent locations.

    1. Jason Sandford June 20, 2017

      I don’t know, orulz. I’ll ask about that one.


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