Appalachian Power to invest about $60 million on transmission project

The '60s era power line is at capacity with the amount of power that it can handle

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Appalachian Power on Oct. 12 said that it and its affiliate, West Virginia Transmission Company, plan to invest about $60 million on the Becco-Kopperston Transmission Line Project to improve the electric system in Boone, Logan and Wyoming counties in West Virginia.

The project will improve the power grid in southern West Virginia by replacing aging infrastructure with modern technology, the company said, adding that the project will improve communication between transmission facilities, which will decrease restoration times.

As noted in a project fact sheet, the existing Becco-Kopperston line – which was built in the 1960s – is currently at capacity with the amount of power that it can handle.

In its Oct. 12 statement, the company noted that major project components include:

· Rebuilding 13 miles of single-circuit, 69-kV transmission line

· Building three miles of new double-circuit, 138-kV transmission line

· Building the new Lacey Branch substation

· Making upgrades to existing substations

· Replacing a mile of wire to improve communication between substations

The company said that the project’s study segments begin with a mile of wire to improve communications at the substation on Koppers Mine Road on the Wyoming-Boone County line. The next 16 miles of the project continue west, starting at the tap point on the Kanawha-Baileysville 138-kV transmission line, the company said, adding that the line route then crosses into Boone County, where the line connects at the new Lacey Branch substation on Route 85. The next 13 miles of the transmission line parallel Buffalo Creek Road until arriving at the Becco substation, the company noted.

According to the fact sheet, proposed structures will vary depending on location. The most commonly used structure will be the steel H-frame, the fact sheet noted, adding that there will also be steel lattice towers and three-pole structures. The average height of the structures is about 90 feet, the fact sheet noted.

According to the project schedule, substation construction is slated to begin in October 2018; transmission line construction will begin in November 2018; and the project will be in service in June 2019.

The company said in its statement that it will host an open house on Oct. 26 in Accoville, to share project details, as well as to receive input from the community and affected landowners.

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