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Electric infrastructure projected to spur job creation at two Virginia industrial parks

April 8, 2022

ROANOKE, Va. – Appalachian Power’s infrastructure work at two Virginia industrial parks highlight the company’s support for the commonwealth’s business recruitment and retention. The company provided details of its extensive transmission work in a petition recently filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC).

Appalachian Power’s investment in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre and Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill give Virginia a competitive edge when recruiting new business by demonstrating the sites are construction-ready with valuable utility infrastructure already in place. The company’s work at the Commonwealth Crossing site in Henry County is complete and included construction of a new substation and the addition of nearly six miles of transmission line. Work to construct a new substation and five miles of transmission line at the Berry Hill site near Danville should be complete in the fall.

“Business recruitment is more competitive now than ever,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer. “We want to support the communities we serve and know construction-ready industrial sites with adequate electrical infrastructure give Virginia’s economic developers an edge with prospects, especially when competing against surrounding states.”

The Virginia General Assembly approved a Business Park Pilot Program to allow a public utility to recover the costs associated with infrastructure development into and within industrial sites identified by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Appalachian Power’s petition seeks to recover its business park investments as well as to cover an increase in transmission charges, as administered by PJM. PJM is the independent regional transmission organization that manages the electric grid in 13 states, including Virginia.

Appalachian Power requested to increase the authorized Transmission Rate Adjustment Clause (T-RAC) from $337.7 million to $368.7, a $31 million increase. The T-RAC is the portion of a customer’s bill that recovers costs for transmission services, fees and new construction.

If approved by the Commission, the change will increase the monthly bill for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours by $2.88, or roughly 2.4 percent, from the March 2022 typical bill. A decision by the SCC could take up to four months and any rate change implemented within 60 days of the final order.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy.

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