- Associated Press - Saturday, November 26, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Parts of Kanawha and Roane counties will see new power lines and electrical upgrades under a $75 million electric grid expansion plan by energy companies.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail, reports (https://bit.ly/2fQx0aF) the Clendenin-Walton Area Improvements Project will include construction of about 25 miles of transmission line, three new substations and upgrades to other transmission facilities.

Transource Energy says in a news release it will construct and own the transmission line and key substations that will serve as the anchor of the project. Transource is an affiliate of American Electric Power headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Transource will own two substations, one near Charleston and one about three miles east of the Roane-Calhoun line. Appalachian Power will operate a third substation in Walton. Transource will also own the transmission line.

Construction is expected to start in 2017 and be completed by mid-2019.

Transource says the project will help meet an increase in electric demand and ensure continued reliable service.

PJM Interconnection, which monitors the electric grid in 13 states, identified the need for the expansion in 2014. It awarded the project to Transource the following year. In June, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia approved construction.

Appalachian Power and First Energy are expected to build new facilities to accommodate the upgrades.

Transource plans to hold a Dec. 8 open house from 5 to 7 p.m. at Walton Elementary/Middle School in Walton to introduce the project and gather public comments. Attendees can come at any time.

“The open house is an opportunity for our project team to speak with landowners and answer questions, view maps and preliminary study segments and learn more about the project,” Antonio Smyth, Transource Energy president, said in a written statement. “It also gives our team a chance to gather valuable information to help us build the best possible project we can.”

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