1/18/2010

NEW RIVER ICE FLOWS AFFECT APPALACHIAN POWER DAMS IN CARROLL CO., VIRGINIA

ROANOKE, Va., January 18, 2010 – Flowing ice on the New River over the weekend and today caused Appalachian Power to modify operations at a Southwestern Virginia hydroelectric project.
 
As temperatures rose, large pieces of ice flowed over and through the four dams within the Byllesby and Buck Hydroelectric Project knocking out flashboards.
 
Flashboards are removable parts of the dam which help control the flow of water through the project.
 
As a result, water levels in the reservoirs behind Byllesby and Buck dams will be lowered for an extended period of time according to Frank Simms, company hydroelectric manager.
 
“The dam structures are intact and safe,” Simms said. ”However, in order to move the remaining ice out of the project and downstream we will knock down additional flashboards at the downstream Buck project. That—along with the flashboards knocked down by the ice—will cause the water levels in both reservoirs to drop six to eight feet in elevation.”
 
It is unknown how long the reservoirs will remain low, but they will stay at those levels until the flashboards can be replaced. The company will continue to observe the situation and make adjustments as needed.
 
Flow modifications at hydroelectric projects are contingent upon restrictions or requirements that may be caused by extreme weather or other demands. Changes may be made to the flow release schedule without notice.
 
Recreational water users should be aware of the ice and related hazards in and around the New River.
 
Up-to-date information on water levels and flow at Byllesby, Buck and other company hydroelectric plants is available on Appalachian Power’s on-line site: http://www.aep.com/environmental/recreation/hydro/
 
The Byllesby and Buck Hydroelectric Project is located in Carroll County on the New River upstream of Ivanhoe, Va. There are two developments associated with the project, but they are managed by Appalachian Power as a single project. The Byllesby development consists of two dams and can generate 21.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The Buck development is about 3 miles downstream of Byllesby and also has two dams; it can generate 8.5 MW.
 
Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with 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. 
 

 
                                                           # # #


John Shepelwich
Corporate Communications Manager
(540) 985-2968
jeshepelwich@AEP.com

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