Survey: Village of Oak Creek Residents Oppose Above-Ground Powerline

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.

APS must secure special approval from the U.S. Forest Service for construction of the high-

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 

storage facility.

* 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.