Appalachian Power plans new transmission upgrades

Appalachian Power has announced plans to rebuild the existing South Bluefield-Wythe 69 kilovolt transmission line and add additional improvements to strengthen the transmission infrastructure in Southwest Virginia.

The original line was built in 1917. Given population growth and development in the area, the about 21-mile transmission line will be upgraded from the current 69 kV to 138 kV standards to provide enhanced system reliability, operational flexibility and allow for future economic development in the area. Most of the work will be done in Bland and Wythe Counties, Va.; about one mile of work will be completed in Mercer County, W.Va.

Appalachian proposes to begin work in 2016 and complete it in 2018. The project will require approvals from the Virginia State Corporation Commission and the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.

Appalachian Power will announce and host a public workshop in the spring to provide additional information about the project and take input from the community.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states.

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