Appalachian Power has begun construction on a project that will bolster the local transmission system that powers the Charleston, West Virginia, area. The Charleston Area Improvements Project is a $110 million investment that includes rebuilding about 5 miles of transmission line and building a new segment of transmission line, plus expanding three substations and building a new substation in the downtown area.
Appalachian is working on the final line route for the transmission rebuild, so current work will be limited to building the new substation and upgrading and expanding the existing substations.
The company expects to have a final line route sometime this fall. The project should be completed by summer 2019. When completed, the work will add about $1.8 million in tax revenue annually; more than $900,000 of that will go directly to the Kanawha County school system.
“We are still working to determine the line route that best minimizes impacts to residents and business owners,” said Frank Jenkins, project manager. “We’re excited to start a project that directly addresses the local need for increased electric reliability.”
Appalachian Power hosted an open house to introduce the project to the public in summer 2015. AEP West Virginia Transmission Co., an affiliate of Appalachian Power, filed an application with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia in November 2015. WV Transco received approval from the PSC on June 24.