Clemson residents upset after learning proposed location of new - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Clemson residents upset after learning proposed location of new Duke Energy power plant

Signs being held outside open forum on Duke Energy power plant. (April 10, 2017 FOX Carolina) Signs being held outside open forum on Duke Energy power plant. (April 10, 2017 FOX Carolina)
Proposed look of power plant. (April 10, 2017 FOX Carolina) Proposed look of power plant. (April 10, 2017 FOX Carolina)
The community gathered at an open forum to discuss the new power plant. (April 10, 2017 FOX Carolina) The community gathered at an open forum to discuss the new power plant. (April 10, 2017 FOX Carolina)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Duke Energy is in the first stages of building a power plant they say is vital to continued service at Clemson University and in the City of Clemson, but many residents are angry saying they were not notified.

The Energy provider is planning to build the plant just feet away from a neighborhood of people who say they had no idea this was in the works, and they aren't happy about it.

"We all understand it needs to show up,” said Clemson resident Melissa McCullough. “We need a power plant here in this location for the university. Everybody agrees. Just the location seemed to be a pop up and to know it had been planned for quite a while and just not clearly presented to the community is disappointing and frustrating."

Clemson University says information was released about the proposed plant back on April 13 of last year, but Pickens County and the City of Clemson say they, too, were never notified of the new plant and its location.

Homeowners and Duke Energy, along with City and University representatives came together Monday night for an open forum to talk about the project.

Duke and Clemson trustees say the electrical system is vulnerable, and that it needs to be replaced and this power generation building and substation will make that happen.

Most agree the $51 million dollar combined heat and power facility is needed, but many are concerned about the lack of communication.

House representative Gary Clary who represents Clemson says he is not pleased with the lack of information the city has released about the power plant, but he knows it is crucial.

"The project will not change -  the question is where it's going to be located,” said Clary.

He also said he had a meeting with Clemson president Jim Clements, who assured him that "starting [Tuesday] morning, there will be complete re-evaluation of the location.”

McCullough who works for the university and lives near the proposed location hopes Duke Energy will consider a better location.

"Put it where children don't play. Put it where property values won't drop because of that kind of an eye sore."

In a press release on Wednesday, officials with Clemson University said they will be conducting a "thorough evaluation" of sites on campus where the facility could be located.

“Clemson values its relationship with the city and region and is taking seriously the questions raised by residents,” said Brett Dalton, executive vice president for Finance and Operations. “Construction of this highly efficient facility is vital to meeting the long-term power needs of the university in a way that also allows Clemson to reduce its carbon footprint. At the same time, the university is committed to working with its partner Duke Energy to locate and build the facility in a manner that takes into account the impact on local residents, as well as the needs of the university.”

MORE NEWS: Deputies: 8 taken into custody after fight on I-26 in Spartanburg Co.

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