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Appalachian Power plans transmission upgrade in McDowell County

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Appalachian Power plans an $80 million upgrade of its electric transmission infrastructure that serves southern West Virginia.

The company wants to complete the project in 2017. Before work begins, the company will hold meetings, seek input from interested parties and file for project approval from the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.

The project includes:

  • Retirement and removal of 35 miles of existing 88-kilovolt (kV) transmission line,
  • Retirement and removal of two existing substations,
  • Construction of three new substations,
  • Associated improvements at other existing substations, and
  • Rebuilding about 17 miles of  an existing (34.5 kV to 88kV) transmission line to 138 kV. 
  • Existing wood H-frame tower structures will be replaced with steel H-frame structures that are taller and sturdier.

Appalachian has existing easements for the new lines and those that require rebuilding. Some easements, however, will require updating or supplementing.

Appalachian will have an informational workshop for the project from 5-8 p.m. Feb. 27 at Southside Middle School in War. Company officials will be available to answer questions about the project.  Affected landowners in the vicinity of the project will be contacted and invited to the meetings through advertisements, letters and phone calls.

Customers can find additional information about the McDowell Area 138 kV Transmission Improvements Project or provide comments on the project at www.AppalachianPower.com/Mcdowell.

Appalachian Power also announced Feb. 10 that it plans a similar, $50 million upgrade to the electric transmission infrastructure that serves western Virginia in Tazewell and Buchanan counties.