Appalachian Power introduces planned transmission upgrades in Charleston


CHARLESTON, W.Va., June 9, 2015 – Appalachian Power is announcing a proposed project to significantly upgrade the local transmission system to better serve the greater Charleston area. The proposed Charleston Area Improvements Project represents an $80-100 million investment and includes rebuilding about 5 miles of transmission line, expanding two substations and building a new segment of transmission line and a new substation in the downtown area.

Appalachian first identified the need for the electric infrastructure upgrades last year. The company completed construction of a temporary fix in January to help maintain the current reliable electric service. The Charleston Area Improvements Project is the proposed permanent fix to provide a robust network capable of handling future growth and demand while increasing reliability to its customers.

“This project is critical because it directly addresses the need for increased electric reliability in the Charleston area,” said Charles Patton, president and chief operating officer for Appalachian Power. “Our customers have made it clear that having reliable service is their number one priority. Our focus is to take the necessary steps to provide that reliability while minimizing impacts to the community and the environment in the most cost-effective way possible.”

To gather information from the public and affected landowners, Appalachian will host a public open house later this month to share details of the proposed improvements.

“We understand the work we are proposing may be disruptive to those who work and live in the area,” Patton said. “That’s why we want to take time to make sure everyone understands what our process involves and why we are doing this work. The open house gives residents and business owners the opportunity to get a first-hand look at what we are proposing and hopefully provide us with feedback we can use to build a better project.”

The open house is scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, from 5 - 8 p.m. at Horace Mann Middle School, 4300 MacCorkle Ave. SE, in Kanawha City. Visitors can arrive at any time during the open house to learn project details, view maps of the potential route and speak with members of the project team. The goal of the open house is to gather valuable information to help in the siting process.

Following the open house and additional field work, AEP West Virginia Transmission Company, an affiliate of Appalachian Power, will file an application with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia seeking a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Upon approval, construction on the project would start summer of 2017 and be completed by the end of 2019.

Additional information about the project, including a project timeline, maps and continuous updates can be found at www.AppalachianPower.com/Charleston.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). Customers in Ohio and Marshall counties are served under the AEP name. It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.






Phil Moye
Corporate Communications

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