Appalachian Power has filed an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission requesting permission to make improvements and additions to the company’s existing high voltage transmission facilities in Tazewell and Buchanan Counties. The proposed work will involve a new 7.5-mile Richlands-Whitewood 138 kilovolt (kV) transmission line, a one-acre Whitewood switchyard, and associated improvements to the Richlands substation.

In the proposed plan, over 95 percent of new transmission line construction will take place in existing right of way.

“Using the existing right of way for the construction of the new facilities will result in only minor and temporary impact to existing property and the environment,” said Scott Markwell, project manager. “The project is a cost-effective solution that allows us to respond to the projected transmission planning criteria while providing reliable electrical service to this area.”

The project is needed to address a potentially overloaded circuit projected to occur in 2017 as identified in a study conducted by PJM, Appalachian’s regional transmission organization. It will also improve reliability and reinforce the area’s electric infrastructure for future growth.

The proposed in-service date of the project is June 2017. The project will cost approximately $25 million. Today’s filing covers only part of $50 million in planned improvements to Appalachian’s transmission system in Tazewell and Buchanan Counties announced in February 2014.