Appalachian Power plans power grid upgrades in Jackson and Kanawha Counties

Staff Writer
Jackson Newspapers
Jackson Newspapers

Appalachian Power representatives and the utility’s affiliate, AEP West Virginia Transmission Co., Inc., plan upgrades to the electric transmission system serving customers in Kanawha and Jackson Counties. The Kenna Area Transmission Line Project involves building approximately 20 miles of electric transmission line. Plans also include building a substation and upgrading two substations in the area. Several route options are under evaluation for the new transmission line.

The proposed upgrades begin at the Ripley Substation located off Klondyke Road in Ripley. The route options continue southeast, traveling in a similar direction as Interstate 77 for approximately 20 miles. The proposed upgrades end at the Sisson Substation located near Interstate 77 in Sissonville.

Company representatives propose building the new Kenna Substation near the intersection of WV-34 and Interstate 77 in Kenna.

“A new power line will increase electric reliability for our customers and reduce the likelihood of power outages,” Appalachian Power spokesperson George Porter said. “The proposed Kenna Substation will also strengthen the local power grid by bringing an additional power source to the area.”

Company representatives invite landowners to a virtual open house at to learn more about the project and provide feedback to the project team. Hosting the open house online complies with the social distancing recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Landowners within the project area can expect to receive a packet in the mail that includes additional project details and a comment card they can return with their feedback. The team plans to use input from the virtual open house, the comment cards, and additional field work to determine a power line route that minimizes impact on the community and environment.

Company representatives expect construction to begin in Fall 2021 and conclude by Fall 2023. Visit the website for additional information about the project.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million Appalachian Power customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,200 megawatts of renewable energy.