AEP: Wyoming-Cloverdale Project Best Suited For Reinforcing Region's Transmission System

ROANOKE, Va., Jan. 30, 1998 -- American Electric Power (AEP) today recommended that the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) reject a motion to study additional project alternatives to its proposed Wyoming-Cloverdale 765 kV line. In its response, AEP states that the motion "has no basis in law or ... in common sense and at a minimum would require great additional delay and expense." An SCC hearing examiner directed AEP to respond to the Dec. 24, 1997, motion submitted by Citizens Organized to Protect the Environment in Giles County, Citizens for the Preservation of Craig County, Friends of Regional Culture and Environment and the Roanoke Preservation League. The three routes suggested in the motion actually involve consideration of building a high voltage transmission line between AEP's Wyoming and Jacksons Ferry stations, Wyoming and Lurich stations or Amos and Cloverdale stations as an alternative to the Wyoming-Cloverdale 765 kV project. "After thorough study and evaluation of alternative projects, AEP identified the Wyoming-Cloverdale 765 kV transmission line to be far-and-away the superior project to solve the electrical transmission problem that faces the citizens of southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia," said Bernie Pasternack, AEP manager-transmission planning division. In its 10-page response, AEP explains that the motion does not simply refer to different "routes," but in fact entirely different projects that the company specifically evaluated and rejected prior to submitting its Wyoming-Cloverdale line application to the Virginia and West Virginia commissions in September 1997. The initial screening of potential solutions to the transmission reliability problem involved evaluating different projects for environmental impacts, technical feasibility, system performance, cost, short-term and long-term benefits and right-of-way requirements. AEPs response cites the significant shortcomings of each alternative project suggested in the motion. After the Wyoming-Cloverdale 765 kV project was identified as the best solution, AEP asked a study team of environmental, cultural and visual experts from Virginia Tech and West Virginia University to identify the corridor between the Wyoming Station, near Oceana, W.Va., and Cloverdale Station, near Roanoke, Va., that best minimizes the environmental impacts of the proposed line. AEP has requested permission to construct the project on the preferred route or on certain alternative corridors the team identified. Customers' demand for electricity here has doubled since 1973 when the last backbone line was built to serve this region. By 2002, the demand will have tripled. At that time AEP anticipates that as many as 100 days a year its transmission system will be inadequate to meet the total electric demand of customers in this region.

For More Information, Contact: Todd Burns Project Communications Manager American Electric Power 540/985-2912

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