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AEP units to upgrade West Virginia transmission grid

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American Electric Power’s Appalachian Power said it and its affiliate, AEP West Virginia Transmission, have plans to upgrade existing transmission systems in Boone and Logan counties in West Virginia through the Blair-Danville Transmission Improvements Project.

The project involves rebuilding about 14 miles of an existing transmission line to ensure continued reliable electric service in the counties, the company said, adding that the project will replace aging infrastructure with modern and robust equipment to strengthen the transmission grid in the Danville, Madison, Washington Heights and Sharples areas.

The project will reduce the likelihood of extended outages to customers and decrease restoration times when outages do occur, the company said.

Most of the rebuild requires new right of way (ROW), and once the new line is complete, the existing line will be retired, Appalachian Power said.

The company said that it will host an open house on Feb. 13 in Danville to provide the community and directly involved landowners with project details. Project team members will use information gathered at the open house to work towards a proposed route, the company said, adding that once a route is determined, construction is expected to start in the fall and to last about a year.

The company on Jan. 19 announced its proposed line route for another project located within the city of Lynchburg, the $20 million Dearington-Rivermont Transmission Project, which involves replacing aging infrastructure with modern and robust equipment capable of handling continued economic growth in the area.

The proposed route for the rebuild of the six-mile, 69-kV line will use existing ROW, the company said.

The rebuild begins at the Dearington substation near the intersection of Morgan and Third streets and ends at the Reusens substation located off Old Trents Ferry Road, the company said.

Existing easements along the route will be expanded to 100 feet, Appalachian Power said, adding that its ROW contractor, Stantec Consultants, will contact directly involved property owners later this year to discuss the process of supplementing current easements.

Among other things, Appalachian Power said that construction is expected to start in fall 2019, and to be complete by the end of 2020.

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