Virginia State Corporation Commission approves Appalachian Power transmission grid improvements

Published on November 15, 2017 by Kevin Randolph

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The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Appalachian Power’s request to undertake a $40 million improvement project for its local transmission grid in Washington County, Virginia.

The South Abingdon Extension project will include building approximately four miles of 138-kilovolt transmission line and a new substation as well as upgrading existing substations to improve reliability.

“Upgrades like this are necessary to minimize the risk of outages,” Mary Begley, external affairs manager for Appalachian Power, said. “We appreciate the commission’s approval of the project and that it recognizes the need to improve the grid to meet the future needs of the Abingdon area.”

The new transmission line will begin at an existing transmission line on the west side of Abingdon. It runs south across Interstate 81 into Washington County then turns east, ending at the new substation on Vances Mill Road. Approximately one mile of the transmission line near the Virginia Highlands Airport will be underground.

Appalachian Power will begin construction on substation upgrades in spring 2018 and will complete the upgrades by the end of 2018.

Appalachian Power first announced the project in September 2015. The company worked with the community and property owners to help determine a line route for the project and then submitted an application for approval in March 2016.

This project is the first phase of the previously announced Abingdon and Washington County Area Improvements Project. The second phase is being evaluated.