Appalachian Power files to upgrade 500 kV transmission line

Appalachian Power filed an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) requesting permission to make improvements to the company’s 36-mile portion of the Cloverdale-Lexington 500 kV transmission line.  The proposed work will replace all existing conductors — the wires that carry electricity — and replace or add about 12 towers.

Appalachian Power shares the 47-year-old line with Dominion Virginia Power.  Appalachian’s portion is located in Botetourt and Rockbridge Counties beginning near its Cloverdale Substation and running 36 miles northeastward to its interconnection with the line section owned by Dominion, about three miles west of the city of Lexington.

The desired in-service date of the project is June 2016. Total estimated cost of the project is about $36 million.

The project is needed to ensure adequate and reliable electric service by addressing North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability criteria violations projected to occur in 2014 that were identified in a study conducted by PJM Interconnection—Appalachian’s Regional Transmission Operator.

It will also relieve market congestion on the transmission interface between Appalachian and Dominion. An alternative plan that required the complete rebuilding of the existing Appalachian portion of the Cloverdale-Lexington 500 kV line was rejected. It was estimated to cost more than three times the cost of the project covered by today’s filing and would likely create new environmental impact.

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