Open house to be held March 28 on AEP’s proposed Moundsville Area rebuild project

An open house is scheduled for March 28 in Glen Dale, W.Va., regarding the approximate $50m Moundsville Area Transmission Rebuild Project, which is proposed by American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) and its affiliate, West Virginia Transmission Co., and includes rebuilding about 11 miles of 69-kV transmission line, as well as making upgrades to multiple substations along the project route.

The existing line was built in the 1920s and can no longer handle the increase in power needed in the region, AEP added in its March 14 statement, noting that replacing aging equipment with modern structures and wires provides the area with a reliable transmission source capable of providing continued reliability to customers.

Two miles of the line construction will take place in Moundsville, with the remaining work to take place in Marshall County.

AEP also said that construction is expected to begin in spring 2018, and to be completed by summer 2019.

According to a project fact sheet, most of the work will be done in, or adjacent to, the existing right of way.

The project consists of upgrading about eight miles of the existing Moundsville-Natrium 69-kV transmission line and three miles of the George Washington Extension 69-kV transmission line to improve the power grid in Moundsville, as well as in the surrounding area.

The Moundsville-Natrium line begins at the Kammer substation south of Moundsville off Route 2, the fact sheet added. That line travels northeast through Marshall County, crossing Snedeker Road, Roberts Ridge Road, and Lafayette Avenue, before connecting with the Moundsville substation off Jefferson Avenue.

The George Washington Extension, the fact sheet added, will be relocated adjacent to the Kammer-George Washington 138-kV line. The new line will tap off the Moundsville-Natrium line and travel northwest through Marshall County to the George Washington substation off Route 2.

The fact sheet further noted that the project will alleviate stress on the overall transmission system in Marshall County and reduce the likelihood of extended power outages to customers.

The project team will use input gathered during the open house to determine a line route that minimizes impact to the environment and community, the company said in its statement.

Other West Virginia projects

Work continues on other transmission projects in West Virginia. For instance, according to the Fayette County Area Transmission Improvement Plan’s webpage, construction on the approximately $55m Fayette County project, which involves building certain transmission facilities in the area of Beckley and otherwise in Fayette, Greenbrier, and Raleigh counties, is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

West Virginia regulators in June 2014 granted approval for the project, which is proposed by AEP West Virginia Transmission, an affiliate of AEP unit Appalachian Power.

The site also noted that the project includes:

  • Building a new Beury Mountain and Brackens Creek station, including associated equipment
  • Building about 12 miles of 138-kV transmission line between the new Beury Mountain and Brackens Creek stations
  • Building about two miles of new 138-kV transmission line, as well as rebuilding and upgrading about 13 miles of existing 69-kV transmission line as 138 kV between the McClung and new Brackens Creek stations
  • Building about two miles of new 69-kV transmission line
  • Installing equipment at three existing stations

The site noted that the project’s benefits are ensuring adequate and reliable electric service in the local area and providing for future economic growth; as well as reducing the impact of transmission system constraints on the Summersville hydroelectric project.

As noted on the Kanawha Valley Area Transmission Reinforcement Project’s webpage, that project is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The upgrades include rebuilding existing transmission lines and upgrades to substations, according to the site, which also noted that the bulk of the Kanawha Valley work will take place between Appalachian Power’s John Amos plant and its Turner and Cabin Creek substations, with a key loop in the Cross Lanes area and another in the Kanawha City area.

Additional work as part of the project, which West Virginia regulators approved in January 2014, will be done to facilities that feed off the backbone transmission line that runs from Poca to Cabin Creek, the site said.

Another project that is expected to be in service this year is AEP West Virginia Transmission’s estimated $80m McDowell Area 138-kV Transmission Improvements Project, which is designed to provide southern West Virginia with an infrastructure capable of handling future economic growth, according to the project’s webpage.

The project includes:

  • Removing about 35 miles of existing 88-kV transmission line
  • Rebuilding and upgrading about 17 miles of an existing transmission line to 138 kV
  • Retiring two substations
  • Building three new substations
  • Improving and upgrading various existing substations

The site further noted that West Virginia regulators granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the project in September 2014.

According to that order, the project includes:

  • A new Yukon station with two 138-kV circuit breakers
  • A new Faraday station with three 138-kV circuit breakers, one 138-kV circuit switcher, one 138-kV/34.5-kV transformer, four 34.5-kV circuit breakers, and one 34.5-kV 6.0 MVAr capacitor bank
  • A new Berwind station with two 138-kV motor operated air break (MOAB) switches
  • Conversion of the existing Gary station to 138-kV and the installation of two 138-kV MOAB switches
  • Installation of two 138-kV circuit breakers and one 138-kV circuit switcher in the Jim Branch station

The order also noted that transmission line segments to be built include:

  • About five miles of 138-kV transmission line between the Jim Branch and Yukon stations adjacent to an existing 88-kV easement
  • About seven miles of 138-kV transmission line between the Yukon and Berwind stations adjacent to the existing 88-kV easement
  • Upgrading and rebuilding about five miles of existing 34.5-kV transmission line between the Berwind and Faraday stations to 138 kV
  • Upgrading and rebuilding about four miles of existing 69-kV transmission line between the Bearwallow and Faraday stations to 138 kV
  • Upgrading and rebuilding about two miles of existing 69-kV transmission line between the Faraday and Tazewell stations to 138 kV
  • Adding about one mile of new 138-kV transmission line from the upgraded Gary station to the existing 138-kV transmission line between the Jim Branch and Switchback stations

Construction on another project – Appalachian Power’s Walton substation project in Roane County – is set to begin in summer 2018 and last about a year, according to the project’s webpage. The project is part of Transource’s Clendenin-Walton Area Improvements Project.

As TransmissionHub reported, construction on the Clendenin-Walton Area project is expected to begin this year, and be completed in 2019. That project includes construction of about 25 miles of new 138-kV transmission line, three new substations, and making additional upgrades to other transmission facilities in the area.

The project’s website further noted that the proposed work will provide the region with a robust transmission grid capable of handling the area’s increase in demand, while ensuring continued reliable service to local customers in Kanawha and Roane counties.

PJM Interconnection identified the need for the project in its 2014 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan, and in 2015, awarded the project to Transource, which is a partnership between AEP and Great Plains Energy, according to the website. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia last June granted Transource approval to build the project.

Appalachian Power and FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) will build additional facilities to incorporate with the grid upgrades, the website added.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3229 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.