CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Appalachian Power is seeking public input on plans to upgrade an aging power line system in Fayette County in the upper Kanawha Valley. The company recently revealed plans for the Carbondale-Kincaid Transmission Line Rebuild Project. It’s a 14 mile transmission line. The upgrades begin at a substation located off Cannelton Hollow Road in Smithers Creek and continue south toward Alloy, crossing the Kanawha River and ending at a substation located off Kingston Road in Kincaid.
“These lines were built 60 to 70 years ago and for anything built in that time frame, it’s time to upgrade. Each year we try to look at reliability and look at upgrades which can improve that reliability for customers. This line is one we feel like we can improve for our customers,” said George Porter, Spokesman for Appalachian Power.
Generally line repairs and upgrades are done within the existing rights of way. However, on the Carbondale-Kincaid project the terrain is severe. Porter said they will consider changes to the route which could impact neighboring landowners, but added the changes are aimed at improving the reliability of the service on the lines.
“We do want to look at other options. With difficult terrain it may prevent us from getting out there and making the repair easily. If we have an option to put it in a place to help maintenance down the road, we’ll definitely look at that,” he said.
The changes may move the line across new property and could impact neighboring property owners.
Traditional style public hearings on the idea have been scrapped due to Covid 19 restrictions. But the public input is being taken in a virtual format.
“Covid restrictions prevent us from having an in-person meeting, but our team has set up a virtual open house to provide the routes on-line and customers have an opportunity to Zoom in and see how a specific route affects their property Once they’ve seen that they can reach out to us with any question or comment,” Porter said.
The time line for the project is to make a decision on the route of the upgraded line by early 2021 and begin construction by next summer.