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TWO HIGH-VOLTAGE POWER LINES UNDER STUDY — TO CROSS WEST VIRGINIA AND OTHER STATES
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by Duane Nichols, Cheat Lake Environment and Recreation | 2007

New coal-fired powerplants in WV need a new 550-mile powerline to export that electricity across 5 states!

American Electric Power, the largest U.S. power generator, is now proposing a 3-billion, 550-mile line from the northern tip of West Virginia, southeast to Frederick County, Maryland, and then northeast to Middlesex County, New Jersey with 135-foot-tall towers all along the way. Also, Allegheny Power has plans for a $1.4-billion, 330-mile line, basically in the same area but ending in Maryland about 30 miles from Baltimore. Both utilities may take advantage of a little-noticed law passed last August that allows them to seek approval for interstate lines from federal regulators if states do not approve their plans within a year. That could be done by their getting the U.S. Energy Department to designate the routes as national interest electric transmission corridors. [Source: Appalachian Trail Conservancy.]

Citizens of Hampshire and Hardy counties have organized the Capon Valley Coalition to show concern about Allegheny Power’s plans for the new highvoltage power line through their counties. They have created an Internet web site at: http://caponvalleycoalition.wordpress.com  (no www)

This web site provides extensive information on their activities. In fact, they have provided a number of interesting features and links regarding the paths under consideration for this power line.

Allegheny Power is expected to submit its request to the WV Public Service Commission next month, although it is not yet clear whether a route has been chosen (as was expected). Much more detail on the proposed line should become available to the public with this filing to the WV Public Service Commission in March.

For the Allegheny Power web site on their power line, visit the following: http://www.alleghenypower.com/TrAIL/TrAIL.asp

For the American Electric Power web site on their power line, visit the following: http://www.aep.com/newsroom/interstateProject.asp 

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