Allegheny Power has completed $156 million in infrastructure improvements and new construction in West Virginia over the past two years. Allegheny works year-round to ensure reliable electric service for its customers, including more than 500,000 homes and businesses in The Mountain State.

“Our primary responsibility is to ensure that reliable electricity is available at a flip of the switch or push of a button – regardless of whether it’s a sweltering summer day in Parkersburg or a snowy winter night in Berkeley Springs,” said Rodney Dickens, president of Allegheny Power. “We are continuously working to monitor, maintain and improve Allegheny’s electric system in order to provide our customers with high quality service.”

The company’s comprehensive service reliability program includes: inspection and preventative maintenance of lines, substations and other electrical equipment; investment in infrastructure improvements; tree trimming; employee training; and testing and updating of operations and support systems. Infrastructure upgrades in West Virginia include:

  • $72 million in transmission and distribution investment for installing new service or expanding existing service for customers;
  • $51 million for transmission line and substation projects, excluding the new TrAIL and PATH transmission line projects;
  • $17 million for distribution maintenance and reliability improvement projects; and
  • $10 million for replacing distribution equipment, such as overhead lines, underground cable, meters and utility poles.

Among the more than 15 critical projects completed in West Virginia were:

  • Replacing circuit breakers at substations in Harrison, Monongalia, Wood, Hancock and Berkeley counties.
  • Installing or replacing transformers at three substations in Greenbrier County and two substations in Marion County, as well as substations in Hardy, Hampshire and Doddridge counties.
  • Rehabilitating a transmission line in Wood and Wirt counties.
  • Installing a new transformer and upgrading lines at a substation in Monongalia County.
  • Replacing conductors on a transmission line in Berkeley County.
  • Extending 138-kilovolt service to a substation at the Fort Martin power plant in conjunction with the scrubber project at the Monongalia County facility.
  • Constructing new distribution circuits or upgrading existing circuits in the Sabraton, Charles Town and Shepherdstown areas to address commercial and residential load growth.
  • Installing additional fuses, switches and fault indicating devices on more than 260 distribution circuits throughout the service territory. The devices pinpoint problem areas, helping to restore service quickly.

In addition, Allegheny spent almost $26 million since September 2008 for vegetation management activities in its service territory in West Virginia’s northern and eastern panhandle regions. Trees contacting power lines and other electric facilities are a major cause of service interruptions, especially during storms and other severe weather.

The company’s investment for infrastructure improvement and new construction in 2008 and 2009 in its four-state service territory will total more $360 million, excluding the TrAIL and PATH projects.