WAR, W.Va. — Appalachian Power is about a year away from beginning an $80 million upgrade to its transmission infrastructure in McDowell County. However, before the company changes one power line, it wants to make sure the public understands the project and how it could impact them. That’s why the company is holding an informational meeting Thursday evening.

John Shepelwich, spokesperson for Appalachian Power, said most property owners wouldn’t even know the work is going on.

“The project itself is mainly going to be conducted on easements that Appalachian Power already has. In some cases, because of the changes we’re making to substations and to lines, we may need to supplement those easements in some way,” according to Shepelwich.

Impacted property owners have already received letters and maps explaining the change. But the meeting will give them a chance to meet face to face with project managers to talk specifics.

Appalachian still has to file for certification from the state Public Service Commission but the project is expected to move forward without a hitch.

“We hope to ensure more reliable local electric service and provide for economic development,” said Shepelwich.

Work is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015 and wind up in 2017.

“Part of this will be to replace some 90-year-old lines that are built on side hills, remove some antiquated substations,” Shepelwich said.

Appalachian Power would provide the infrastructure to handle new businesses moving into the county and it will bring in additional tax revenues of up to $750,000 a year.

The meeting takes place Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Southside Middle School in War.


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