An Appalachian Power affiliate filed a request with the West Virginia Public Service Commission for approval to upgrade transmission facilities in the Kanawha Valley. AEP West Virginia Transmission Co. Inc., announced the upgrades in June. The cost for the entire project is estimated to be $337 million.
The filing addressed a key part of the project, the rebuilding of about 52 miles of existing transmission lines and the installation of associated electrical components. Previous filings requested approval for upgrades to substations.
The bulk of the project work will take place between the company’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 will be done to facilities that feed off the backbone transmission line that runs from Poca to Cabin Creek.
The project will involve removing current transmission facilities and replacing them with similar but sturdier facilities of the same voltage. About 80 percent of the transmission line rebuild is expected to be done within or adjacent to existing rights of way. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be complete in 2017.
Appalachian Power has about 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns nearly 38,000 MW of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kV extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.