Appalachain Power has filed
an application with the state to build a new $25 million electric line to serve Montgomery County, Blacksburg and Christiansburg.
The line would reinforce the electric grid and prevent potential overload conditions in the New River Valley.
The line would be about 7.5 miles long and connect a substation near Blacksburg with another substation on the eastern end of Christiansburg.
Appalachian Power originally announced the Falling Branch-Merrimac project in 2008.
Appalachian Power says between 2003 and 2010, peak electric demand in the area increased by 34 percent.
Construction could start by 2015.
The plan must still be approved by the state.
For more information, about the project click here.
Here is the news release:
Today Appalachian Power filed an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to construct a new $25 million electric transmission line to reinforce the electric grid and prevent potential overload conditions in the Montgomery County, Blacksburg and Christiansburg area that could occur as early as summer 2015. Following an extensive public comment period and environmental analysis, the company identified the least-impacting route possible for the 7.5 mile transmission line.
Appalachian Power originally announced the Falling Branch-Merrimac project in 2008. After an initial comment period, the project was postponed. The company reinitiated the project in 2011. Appalachian held multiple public workshops and received significant input from local government and property owners throughout the route identification process.
The company’s application identifies a preferred route for the project that minimizes human and environmental impacts. In addition to being the most direct route, the preferred corridor provides an opportunity to relocate approximately .6 mile of 69 kV line in a densely populated area where the right of way has been encroached upon. The company is seeking approval of a 500-foot-wide corridor, within which the line will ultimately be constructed on a 100 foot-wide right of way.
Electric service in the area is primarily supplied by a single 138 kilovolt (kV) line and multiple 69 kV lines. Between 2003 and 2010, peak electric demand in the area increased by 34 percent to 278 MW and is expected to continue to grow steadily.
The addition of the new power line, which ties together existing electric substations and establishes a looped 138 kV system, will help prevent overloads and reduce the likelihood of interrupting electric service to the region. With a looped system in place, Appalachian can isolate problems when they occur and limit the disturbance they cause to customers.
The new facilities will be constructed using a combination of single pole structures with an average height of 100 feet in more developed areas and H-frame structures with an average height of 80 feet in more rural areas. Both types of structures will require a 100 foot-wide right of way.
Customers can find more information, including the complete application and interactive maps and photos of similar facilities to those proposed at www.AppalachianPower.com/go/FallingBranch.
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, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts 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 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.