Florida Power & Light Company has announced its plan to share information with the community as well as collect community comments about alternate routes under consideration for a proposed, new power line to serve the growing electric needs of Manatee and Sarasota counties. The new power line will not only benefit the region by providing additional power to the area; it also will enhance the strength, reliability and security of the electric grid for everyone.

FPL has scheduled two open house events for interested community members to speak one-on-one with project team members, share ideas, learn about the project, and view maps of potential routes. No formal presentation is planned. The open house events will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 30, and Thursday, Aug. 31.

“The open house events are just one way we’re seeking local community input about a new transmission line needed for the area,” said Mel Klein, external affairs manager, for FPL. “By meeting with people interested in the project throughout the route selection process, we’ll work out a plan to best meet the needs of the community and enable the company to meet its obligation to provide reliable electric power.”

FPL plans to construct the 230-kV single-pole transmission lines to connect a recently upgraded power plant near Parrish in Manatee County to a new substation to be located east of I-75 in Sarasota County,

The new, overhead transmission line must be in place by 2011 to maintain service reliability in the area. Because the power line will be more than 15 miles long and cross county lines, it will be certified through a process prescribed by the Florida Transmission Line Siting Act.

In addition to the upcoming open house events, FPL has collected local input on the project through a community advisory panel, a direct mail survey, toll-free telephone number, e-mail and a project Web page.