Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S., is planning a 20-mile 161-kV transmission line from TVA’s West Point 500-kV substation to a potential new substation at the Lowndes County-Golden Triangle Megasite (industrial park). To meet the needs of the potential industrial load, the line would need to be in service by September 2006.

TVA has evaluated three alternative routes for the transmission line using the same environmental, land-use, engineering and cost considerations for each alternative. The reviews were based on available data, aerial photography, limited onsite reviews, public review and comment, and property owners’ input.

Based on these evaluations, TVA has identified an eastern route as its preferred route for the transmission line (see map). Compared with the other line alternatives, the eastern route minimizes the overall impact and is the least costly option.

Following the eastern route, the line would be 17 miles long. Approximately seven miles would be on existing 161-kV right-of-way, where an additional 12.5-foot easement would be required to allow for the double-circuit 161-kV line. The remaining 10 miles would be on new 100-foot right-of-way.

During the review period, TVA was made aware of the presence of American bald eagle nesting habitat in the vicinity of Tibbee Creek. Once the extent of the eagle habitat has been assessed, TVA will evaluate mitigation measures as well as alternative transmission line routes to avoid any impacts to known nesting locations. This could affect the length and location of specific portions of the transmission line route described above.

TVA is in the process of contacting property owners on the portions of the transmission line route that are not affected by the eagle habitat. The remaining property owners will be contacted once the eagle habitat concerns have been addressed.