ROANOKE, Va., – Appalachian Power representatives are seeking approval for the Central Virginia Transmission Reliability Project, an investment to upgrade the electric transmission network serving customers in five central Virginia counties.
The project involves replacing 46-kilovolt (kV) equipment from the 1920s and 69-kV equipment from the 1940s with a more modern system. The project also provides a new 138-kV electrical source for the region. The upgrades increase electric reliability for customers and support the retirement of aging equipment. The project involves four phases throughout the next few years.
Company officials plan to submit an application to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) later this month requesting approval for three phases of the project: Joshua Falls – Gladstone, Amherst – Reusens and Shipman – Schuyler. Appalachian Power representatives prepared the application by reviewing future land use, environmental impacts and input that property owners provided during several in-person and virtual community open houses in 2019 and 2020.
The Joshua Falls – Gladstone phase involves building approximately 17 miles of transmission line in Amherst, Appomattox, Campbell and Nelson counties. Company representatives selected the line route after four in-person open houses and more than a year of field studies.
“The project team reviewed multiple route options, discussed the options with landowners and reviewed the impacts of each route,” said George Porter, Appalachian Power spokesperson. “The team was committed to selecting a route that minimizes the project’s impact on the community and environment, while strengthening the local power grid and providing continued reliable electric service to our customers.”
The proposed line route begins at the Joshua Falls Substation in Campbell County. The route travels northeast through Appomattox County for 11 miles, crosses the James River and continues through Amherst and Nelson counties for 6 miles before ending at the Gladstone Substation located off Highway 60 near the community of Five Forks. This phase also involves expanding three electrical substations in the area.
The Amherst – Reusens phase involves rebuilding approximately 12 miles of transmission line in or near the existing right-of-way in Amherst County. The route for this proposed upgrade begins at the Amherst Substation located off U.S. Route 60 southeast of Amherst and travels southwest for about 8 miles. From there, the route crosses through the Monroe Substation located off South Amherst Highway and continues for about 4 miles before crossing the James River and ending at the Reusens Substation in northern Lynchburg. Plans also involve expanding the Amherst and Monroe substations. Company representatives hosted a virtual open house for this phase last August.
The Shipman – Schuyler phase involves building two substations and approximately 1,000 feet of transmission line in Nelson County. This project allows crews to retire two existing substations in the towns of Shipman and Schuyler and retire approximately 38 miles of transmission line in the area. The project team introduced this phase during a virtual open house last August.
Appalachian Power representatives are communicating with property owners in the project area prior to submitting the company’s application to the SCC. If the SCC accepts the application, property owners can expect an additional mailing explaining how to participate in the project approval process. If the SCC approves the project, Appalachian Power right-of-way representatives plan to discuss next steps with property owners.
Company representatives plan to seek local approval from Albemarle County officials for the Esmont – Scottsville phase of the Central Virginia Transmission Reliability Project at a later date. This phase involves rebuilding approximately 6 miles of transmission line in or near the existing right-of-way and upgrading two substations.
“The approval phase of the Central Virginia Transmission Reliability Project represents a culmination of hard work throughout the last few years,” Porter said. “Our team has worked safely with property owners and key stakeholders to gather the necessary data to propose options that minimize impacts to the community and the environment.”
Visit AppalachianPower.com/CVTRP for additional information about the project, including maps showing the proposed power line routes and substation sites.