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Allegheny Power Planning New Transmission Line

Nov 26, 12:43 PM EST

Allegheny Power planning new transmission line

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — Allegheny Power has begun preliminary work on planning a 240-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line it proposed last February.

The line, which would extend through parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, was proposed at a cost of $1.4 billion after predictions were made that some of the current electrical transmission lines could be overloaded by 2011.

Allegheny spokesman Allen Staggers said the current electrical infrastructure in place shows there are enough generating plants in the region, but the power can’t get exactly from where it’s generated to where it’s needed.

Open houses will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. to answer questions from the public about the project.

In West Virginia, the open houses will be held Tuesday at the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department, on Wednesday at the Wardensville War Memorial
Building, and Thursday at the Mount Storm Volunteer Fire Department.

Another one is scheduled Dec. 7 in Mountain Lake Park at Southern Garrett Rescue Squad.

The project, the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line, would extend from southwestern Pennsylvania to existing substations in Mount Storm and Meadow Brook, Va., along with an interconnection with Dominion Virginia Power and continuing east to Dominion’s Loudoun Substation.

Paula DuPont-Kidd, a spokeswoman for PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization that manages electricity transmission services for
the region, said the U.S. Department of Energy did a congestion study, looking at electric transmission across the country and saw some areas
where there is potential for major congestion.

“A couple of those areas are within PJM range, particularly along the corridor between the New York border, going down to Maryland, Washington, and Northern Virginia.” DuPont-Kidd said. “We’ve done planning and have determined where the congestion areas are and have concurred with the
Department of Energy reports.”

Staggers said the series of open houses is being held where preliminary routes will be identified. Representatives from the company will get the
opportunity to talk with the public in areas likely to be affected. No definite route for the project has been determined.

Staggers said that the company will take public comments at these meetings and will try to narrow the potential routes down to a single route.

He said the process will be lengthy, even after the final route is chosen around the first quarter of 2007. At that point, they must submit an application to the state Public Service Commission, beginning a process that could take a year. During this time, they will work on land acquisition for the route of the line. At the earliest, it will be well into 2008, most likely early 2009, before any construction begins, and could take up to 2 1/2 years to finish.

Information from: Cumberland (Md.) Times-News,

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Article courtesy of Vivian Stockman of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition





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