The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

April 27, 2014

Community provides feedback on AEP improvement project

Construction on a $56 million transmission improvement project will begin in Fayette County come November, and representatives of Appalachian Power Company hosted a public workshop Tuesday at Midland Trail High School in order to gather community feedback before construction officially gets under way.

The project’s final result — an improved transmission grid — will address the existing voltage, thermal and reliability issues identified by PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission operator responsible for planning and operating the grid.

The scope of the project includes:

- Building approximately nine miles of new 138 kV transmission line and two miles of 69 kV transmission line;

- Rebuilding and upgrading approximately 14 miles of existing 69 kV transmission line to operate at 138 kV between Fayette and Greenbrier counties;

- Removing about 4.5 miles of existing 69 kV line and two existing substations (Beury Mountain Switching Station and the existing Brackens Creek Substation), and;       

- Constructing two new substations in the area of the existing Beury Mountain and Brackens Creek substations.

Appalachian Power Corporate Communications Manager Phil Moye said the project will address the power outage issues often experienced by the eastern side of Fayette County.

“We’ve had large outages in this area, particularly in parts of Fayette County,” Moye said. “This will help reduce that.”

The project, which will run between the areas of Fayette’s Danese and Mount Nebo in Nicholas County, will improve power services for approximately 3,500 existing customers, while also adding additional benefits to nearby residents as the transmission system will experience less strain.

Additionally, the project will ensure adequate and reliable electric service in the local area and allow for future economic growth, Moye stated.

While approximately 80 percent of the construction will take place in Fayette County, Moye said the project will also benefit residents of Nicholas and Greenbrier counties.

Appalachian Power Project Design Supervisor Jeff Maynor said the higher voltage lines could filter down to benefit numerous neighboring stations and the connected lines on the eastern side of the New River in Fayette County.

“It’s going to reinforce the subtransmission system, currently at 69,000 kV, by having a new 138 kV source in the area,” said Maynor. “It all filters down, so it could potentially impact Fayetteville’s station, Elmo’s station, Gauley Mountain’s station and more.”

“This transmission project is going to make the transmission system more reliable and power will be able to pass through the higher voltage system and take stress off of the subtransmission system,” said Eric Leef, a distribution engineer with Appalachian Power.

Leef said the distribution will feed into Nicholas County and reduce the impact of transmission system constraints on the Summersville Hydroelectric Project.

Approximately 90 residences currently are located within a 500-foot distance of the area where proposed lines will be built, Moye said, but the construction of the lines will not require anyone to relocate from their homes.

“We’re trying to ensure that we engage people that want to know about the project,” Moye said.

Construction will begin in November and the new facilities are expected to be in service by late 2017.

Appalachian Power is requesting and considering input to help with the project design. The company is contacting officials and property owners and also accepting comments through its website: www.appalachianpower.com/Fayette.

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