American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Appalachian Power on May 1 said that it and its affiliate, AEP West Virginia Transmission Company, have announced plans to upgrade the electric transmission system in Jackson and Mason counties, through the $60m Ravenswood Area Improvements Project.
The project includes rebuilding about 30 miles of 69-kV transmission line and upgrading associated facilities to ensure continued reliable electric service for customers, Appalachian Power said, adding that the project will replace 1950s vintage structures with modern and robust equipment in the Ravenswood, Ripley, Cottageville, and Letart areas. Improvements will reduce the likelihood of extended outages to customers and decrease restoration times when outages do occur, the company said.
Appalachian Power said that it has developed preliminary study segments for the 30-mile project, adding that those segments start in Ripley and travel north towards Ravenswood before crossing through Cottageville and Letart. Most of the rebuild will require new right of way (ROW), the company said, noting that small sections near Ripley and Ravenswood will be built in or adjacent to the existing ROW.
According to a project fact sheet, the transmission line rebuild starts in Ripley and travels north for about 10 miles towards Ravenswood. Study segments then head west for about eight miles towards the Jackson County Maritime & Industrial Center. From there, the fact sheet added, study segments turn south for about three miles towards Cottageville. The last seven miles of the rebuild travel west into Mason County to a connection point just west of Sand Hill Road, according to the fact sheet.
The company said in its statement that it will use community and landowner input to determine a route that minimizes impact to the community and the environment. Appalachian Power noted that it plans to host an open house regarding the project on May 15 in Millwood. Project team members will use information gathered at the open house to determine a proposed route, and once a route is chosen, landowners will be notified about the route, as well as informed of next steps in the process, the company said.
Construction on the project is expected to start in fall 2019, and be complete by the end of 2021, Appalachian Power said.