Appalachian Power Company (APCo) is proposing to build, own, operate and maintain the South Lynchburg Area Improvements 138-kV Transmission Line Project, to be located partly in northern Campbell County, Va., and partly in the southern part of the city of Lynchburg, Va.
The project is needed to ensure adequate and reliable electric service and to accommodate future growth, the company added in its application for approval and certification of electrical transmission line for the project, filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) on Nov. 21.
The company also said that the project consists of the construction of a new, approximately 9.3-mile, 138-kV line between several existing substations – Brush Tavern, George Street and South Lynchburg – and one new substation, Lynbrook, to be built as part of the project, together with associated improvements to be made at the existing substations, including buswork, switches and related equipment.
The project further involves the retirement of the existing Lawyers substation, to be replaced by the new Lynbrook substation, and the existing 5.4-mile Lawyers Tap 69-kV transmission line.
The project’s estimated overall cost is about $28m and the desired in-service date is June 30, 2017, the company added.
The project will provide two-way transmission service to customers of the south Lynchburg area that are currently served radially, representing a current load of about 65 MVA that is projected to increase to more than 80 MVA by the 2017/2018 winter peak.
Appalachian Power also said that the project will improve the reliability and operational performance of the transmission and distribution system in the south Lynchburg area and reduce projected heavy contingency loadings on the existing 138/69/34.5-kV, 50 MVA transformer at the South Lynchburg substation.
Furthermore, the project will reinforce the existing network in the greater Lynchburg area for future growth, including providing a new source to accommodate future load growth between the Brush Tavern and Lynbrook substations.
The company also noted that the project, which it said is essential to support ongoing economic development within Campbell County and Lynchburg, will improve operational flexibility for scheduling maintenance outages.
Of four alternative routes considered, “Alternative Route 2” was identified as the superior and preferred alternative, as it is the most consistent with the project siting criteria, the company said.
GAI Consultants, retained by the company to identify route alternatives for the project, recommended Alternative Route 2 as the preferred alternative route because it most reasonably avoids or minimizes adverse impacts on the developed areas, scenic assets, historic resources and environment of the area concerned.
Also, with the fewest number of dwellings within 500 feet of the centerline, the route avoids the more substantial effects on residential areas associated with the other alternatives. The key feature of the route is that it has been located to maximize the use or paralleling of existing rights-of-way (ROW) in order to minimize impacts to adjacent land uses.
The route is also the shortest of the routes studied between the substations, and it avoids conflict with present and future land use to the greatest extent practicable, thereby reducing socioeconomic impacts.
Among other things, GAI noted that 48% of the route is located in an existing APCo ROW, thereby reducing the amount of ROW acquisition needed to build the project.
According to a Nov. 21 statement, the company introduced the project in November 2012 and after extensive public comment, it identified a preliminary preferred route and announced it last March – it is the same route filed with the SCC on Nov. 21.
“We have thoroughly evaluated routing options based on stakeholder input and available data,” David Wright, project manager with the company, said in the statement. “As a result, we identified a route that parallels existing rail and utility infrastructure as much as possible in order to minimize project impact.”
APCo is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).