VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK, AZ (February 26, 2021) – Arizona Public Service’s (APS)
proposed above-ground powerline into the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) is opposed by nearly
three-quarters (73.5%) of respondents to a recent survey by Big Park Regional Coordinating
Council (BPRCC). Just over half (52.6%) favored burying the powerline that, as proposed,
would run northwest from McGuireville and enter the Village along Kel Fox Trail before
connecting to APS’s Oak Creek substation. Another 38% equally favored one of two battery
storage options – a battery storage facility or a solar-powered community microgrid (with battery
storage) – in lieu of a new powerline.
voltage powerline across Coconino National Forest since the Village is surrounded on all sides
by national forest land. APS has said the new powerline would serve as backup during power
outages and increase capacity for future growth.
“We were very pleased to see a high response rate, which indicates an incredible amount of
interest in the proposal,” Camille Cox, president of BPRCC, said. “The survey results will help
assist the Council in developing a formal position on the project when we submit a comment
letter to the US Forest Service on its draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of the project.”
The Forest Service is expected to request public comment on the draft EA later this spring.
Other Survey Highlights
* Nearly two-thirds of respondents (66.8%) considered power outages in the Village over
the last five years to be either minor or moderately inconvenient. Only 10.9% said
outages have been disruptive.
* More than two-thirds (69.5%) said a new powerline was not important or not at all
important. Just under a quarter (24.5%) said it was important or very important to build
the new power line.
* More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) also opposed APS’s proposed rate increase,
which would help fund new investments in infrastructure. Only 10.4% supported or
strongly supported the rate increase.
* Respondents were roughly divided on a battery storage facility, given a 2019 fire at an
APS battery facility in Surprise. Some 54.9% said they would be concerned or very
concerned if a battery storage facility were selected as a condition by the Forest Service,
while 39% were not concerned, including 22.5% who said they would support a battery
* Regarding a community microgrid partly powered by solar energy, respondents were
less concerned with just over half (54.1%) saying they were not concerned, not at all
concerned, or supported a community microgrid.
ABOUT The Survey
The survey was conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 9, 2021, and distributed to approximately 500
individuals on BPRCC’s subscribers list for its 25 homeowner associations, business
representatives, and individuals who signed up to receive BPRCC information. Several
homeowner associations, members of the BPRCC, also encouraged their residents to respond.
An article encouraging participation in the survey was published in the Feb. 2 edition of The
The questions and survey results may be reviewed here (link to view/download PDF of survey).
BPRCC received 231 valid responses to the survey.