PAX, WV (WOAY) – Appalachian Power and its affiliate, AEP West Virginia Transmission Company, Inc., have announced plans to improve electric power reliability to customers by upgrading the existing transmission system in Fayette County.
The Pax Branch Transmission Line Upgrade is a $15 million investment that involves rebuilding about six miles of an existing transmission line to ensure continued reliable service to customers. The project will replace aging infrastructure with modern and robust equipment to strengthen the transmission grid in the Plum Orchard Lake area near Scarbro and Pax. The work will reduce the likelihood of extended outages to customers and decrease restoration times when outages do occur.
Appalachian Power will replace existing wooden structures, originally built in the 1920s, with taller, sturdier steel structures. The taller structures will allow Appalachian the opportunity to reduce the total number of structures along the route, minimizing the overall project footprint. All work will be done in or adjacent to existing right-of-way, and existing easements will need to be supplemented.
About 3 miles of the rebuild goes through the Plum Orchard Lake Wildlife Management Area. Normal recreational activities in the Wildlife Management Area will not be affected by project construction.
“We’re committed to providing our customers with reliable electric service they can depend on,” said Phil Moye, Appalachian Power spokesperson. “This project will strengthen our transmission infrastructure and allow us to continue providing quality service at an affordable cost.”
Appalachian Power will host an open house to provide the community and impacted landowners with project details and an opportunity to review proposed study segments and answer questions related to the project. The open house will be 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, at the Pax Volunteer Fire Department.
“Our strategy for establishing all our transmission projects includes providing as much information as possible to customers and property owners who may be impacted, and to obtain and consider their input before any work begins,” Moye said.
Visitors may come at any time during the open house to learn project details, examine maps of the proposed route and speak with project team members.
After the open house, project team members will utilize information gathered to solidify a final proposed route. Survey work is expected to start this summer with pre-construction activities to begin this fall. The project is expected to be complete by summer 2019.
Additional information about the project including maps, a timeline and updates can be found at www.AppalachianPower.com/PaxBranch