VIDEO: Appalachian Power unveils Virginia transmission upgrade

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Appalachian Power announced a new transmission project designed to help customers’ electric reliability in southwest Virginia.

The proposed Abingdon and Washington County Improvements Project is an estimated $50 million investment that includes construction of a new substation, upgrading of six existing substations, and about 11 miles of new transmission line.

The company first identified the need for the electric infrastructure upgrades in 2013 when extreme winter weather and high power demand tested local electric reliability. The proposed upgrades will provide the area with a more reliable and modern network capable of handling increased load while reducing the likelihood of power outages.

The proposed new transmission line originates from an existing Appalachian Power transmission line on the west side of Abingdon. From there, preliminary routes run south out of Abingdon across Interstate 81 into Washington County before turning southeast to connect with a new five-acre substation on Vances Mill Road. Proposed routes continue east from the new substation to an end point at Arrowhead Substation east of Jeb Stuart Highway.

Following the open house and additional fieldwork, Appalachian Power will file an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission seeking approval to construct the project. Upon approval, construction is scheduled to start winter 2017 and be completed by fall 2018.

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