Coal Valley News

BOONE COUNTY - Appalachian Power and its affiliate, AEP West Virginia Transmission Co., have announced plans to improve electric power reliability to customers by upgrading existing transmission systems in two West Virginia counties.

The Blair-Danville Transmission Improvements Project involves rebuilding about 14 miles of an existing transmission line to ensure continued reliable electric service in Boone and Logan counties.

The project will replace aging infrastructure with modern equipment to strengthen the transmission grid in the Danville, Madison, Washington Heights and Sharples areas, according to a news release from AEP. This will reduce the likelihood of extended outages to customers and decrease restoration times when outages do occur. Most of the rebuild requires new right-of-way. Once the new line is complete, the existing line will be retired.

"We have a responsibility to provide our customers with reliable electric service they can depend on," said Appalachian Power spokesperson Phil Moye. "These upgrades will strengthen our transmission infrastructure and allow us to continue providing quality and affordable service."

Appalachian Power will host an open house to provide the community and directly involved landowners with project details. The company is asking landowners to provide feedback on study segments to help determine a proposed route. The open house is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Ramage Elementary School. Visitors may come any time during the open house.

"Open houses provide us an opportunity to speak with customers early in the process," said Moye. "Our goal is to open communication with landowners so that we can work to choose a route that minimizes impacts to our neighbors and the environment."

After the open house, project team members will utilize information gathered to work toward a proposed route. Once a route is determined, construction is expected to start this fall and last about a year.

Additional information about the projects including maps, a timeline and updates can be found at www.appalachianpower.com/blairdanville.

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