7/12/2011
APPALACHIAN SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON ELECTRIC RELIABILITY UPGRADE
SERVING PARTS OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, CHRISTIANSBURG AND BLACKSBURG

ROANOKE, Va., July 12, 2011 – Appalachian Power is seeking input on a $15 million upgrade in the electric infrastructure that serves parts of Montgomery County, the Town of Blacksburg and the Town of Christiansburg. The company is in the study phase of the project which will involve construction of approximately eight miles of electric transmission line and is seeking public input into the siting process before pursuing approval to construct the new Falling Branch-Merrimac 138 kilovolt (kV) transmission line.

Appalachian Power originally announced the Falling Branch-Merrimac project in 2008. After an initial comment period, the project was postponed. The company is reinitiating the project and expects to energize the new line in 2015.

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. The company has identified preliminary study corridors for review. The public can provide comments on the preliminary study corridors and suggest alternative routing options at AppalachianPower.com and at a public workshop to be held 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, at Christiansburg High School, 100 Independence Blvd., Christiansburg, Va., 24073. The public comment period continues through August 26.

Appalachian expects to file an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission this Fall seeking approval to construct the new facilities.

Customers can find more information about the Falling Branch-Merrimac Transmission Reinforcement Project, including maps and photos of similar facilities to those proposed, or provide comments on the project at www.AppalachianPower.com.

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. 

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Todd Burns, Appalachian Power
Corporate Communications Manager
(540) 985-2912, tfburns@AEP.com

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Appalachian Power uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

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This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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