Appalachian Power seeks public input on Wythe County electric project

ROANOKE, Va., May 9, 2012 – Appalachian Power announced a $100 million upgrade in the electric infrastructure that serves the Wythe County area.

The company is in the initial study phase of the project which involves construction of approximately 15 miles of 138-kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line between and upgrades to its Wythe, Progress Park and Jacksons Ferry substations.

Appalachian is seeking public input into the siting process before pursuing approval to construct the new line.

Local 138-kV electric substations in the area connect distribution customers to the transmission system. PJM, the independent regional transmission planning organization, has determined that without an upgrade to the 138 kV system the area could experience voltage problems by 2015. The addition of a new power line that ties together the existing electric substations, addresses the voltage problem and helps ensure reliable service to customers.

The company has identified preliminary study segments for review. The public can provide comments on the preliminary study segments and suggest alternative routing options at the company’s website and at a public workshop 5-8 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Ft. Chiswell High School, 1 Pioneer Trail, Max Meadows. The comment period continues through July 14.

 “At this point we’ve identified a number of study segments that would work,” said David Wright, project manager. “But, public participation is critical to identifying the best place to locate this new line.”

The new facilities will be constructed using a combination of lattice and single pole structures that range between 100 and 125 feet in height, and the line will be built on a 100-foot wide right of way. Appalachian will file an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission this Fall seeking approval to construct the new facilities. The project is planned to be in service by 2015.