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Appalachian Power receives approval for upgrade plan

World Coal,

Appalachian Power’s US$ 173 million plan to upgrade transmission facilities in the Kanawha Valley has received approval from West Virginian regulators. The upgrade plan has been proposed in order to help ensure system reliability is maintained as a number of coal-fired power plants close over the forthcoming years.

The power company, which is a unit of US power company American Electric Power Co. Inc., said that it did not request a rate increase related to the project.

American Electric Power has scheduled two West Virginian coal-fired power plants for closure. These include the 400 MW Kanawha River coal-fired power plant, as well as the remaining coal-fired unites at the 580 MW Sporn Plant. 2015 has been set as the year in which these power units will come offline.

The shutdowns of these units, combined with other plant closures in West Virginia, are changing the way power flows onto the transmission grid.

American Electric Power said the last major reinforcement to the West Virginian power grid occurred almost 40 years ago. Suggesting that the current grid requires an update, the company said that in most cases, the existing 138 kV facilities were built in the 1920s – 1940s. The company said these facilities would be replaced with larger 138 kV lines and taller and heavier structures.

Construction of its upgrade project has been set for completion in 2017, according to American Electric Power.

Appalachian Power serves 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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