Bixby residents blow back against 'Wind Catcher' proposal

Several Bixby residents expressed their opposition to PSO's Wind Catcher initiative, worried that their property values will decline. (Wilson/KTUL)

The name of the project is Wind Catcher, but the only thing officials from the Public Service Company of Oklahoma were catching at the Bixby city council meeting was heat.

"Wind Catcher is an example of out of control corporate greed," said property owner Maurice Storm, one of dozens of Bixby residents fuming over the proposed path of a high capacity power transmission line that would run from a wind farm out in the panhandle right through Bixby's backyard.

"I think it would destroy the property value, I don't think people want to live near these huge buzzing power lines," he said.

"I wanted to build a house right here," said Kellyville resident Kem Smith, pointing to a map of his land, which is smack dab in the middle of the route.

"Their line goes diagonally through 28 acres of my property, which if you look at that, that cancels out the value, can you imagine?" he said.

"We recognize that people have strong passionate concerns and issues and we don't want to downplay those at all," said Stan Whiteford of PSO.

From PSO's side; think of the economic windfall for customers.

"We've got the potential to save our customers over $2 billion dollars," said Whiteford.

But little of that is comfort to folks like Mr. Storm or the man behind us during our interview who berated a PSO official.

"When you lay down at night think about how many people you're affecting, and how many people's put their life's investment, cause these rural people, we ain't got tons of money, we bust our hump trying to raise a few cows and scratch in the dirt," he said.

The city council voted to draft a resolution in opposition to the project going through Bixby.

PSO says the project needs to be completed by the end of December 2020 in order to qualify for federal incentives.

As to whether or not the route could be altered?

"It is not final. That's all we can really say at this time, but I don't want to say that there are other opportunities necessarily, it is not final," said Whiteford.

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