Appalachian Power to upgrade electric grid in Ohio, West Virginia

As part of a regional upgrade to the transmission grid in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia, Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), plans to replace the existing wire on a 345 kV transmission line that runs from Waterford, Ohio, to New Haven, West Virginia.

All of the work will take place within existing transmission line right of way, and more than 90 percent of it will be done on existing towers. Fourteen towers will be replaced with new towers, and four additional ones will be added. The new transmission wire will be the same voltage but able to carry more current.

The $70 million line replacement project is expected to be complete by June 2015. Appalachian Power will seek approval to construct the project from the West Virginia Public Service Commission, and the company will also seek approval from Ohio regulators.

The project will upgrade two 345-kV circuits using existing right of way between Muskingum River Station in Washington County, Ohio, Waterford Station in Washington County, Ohio, and Sporn Station in Mason County, West Virginia. The Project will traverse about 50 miles through Washington, Morgan, Athens and Meigs counties in Ohio and Mason County in West Virginia.

This upgrade is needed to protect against power outages in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia. AEP and PJM, the regional transmission authority to which AEP belongs, have completed studies and without this project, the performance of the company’s transmission system will be inadequate to provide the level of service that its customers expect.

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