AEP Upgrading Power Lines in Marshall County
MOUNDSVILLE — Crews worked to remove power lines and towers near the Moundsville Bridge last week as American Electric Power continues making investments and upgrades to its transmission capabilities in Marshall County while preparing for future “load growth and economic development” in that region, according to Joelle Moray, manager of external affairs for AEP.
Crews with Kent Power Incorporated began removing power lines, towers and poles along Lockwood Avenue between Twelfth and First streets over the past week as part of a transmission lines upgrading project that began in phases south of Moundsville over a year ago and is expected to continue throughout the summer as they move closer to the First Street power station.
Moray said they are replacing all the old lines and towers with all new equipment.
Moray said AEP continues to prepare for future development in Marshall County and nearby Belmont County by upgrading its transmission capabilities and technology in that area — particularly in Marshall County, where there is continued talk about a possible ethane cracker plant being built directly across the Ohio River from Moundsville in the Dilles Bottom area of Belmont County.
“Everything is being upgraded essentially from the Mitchell Plant up through all the substations in Moundsville,” Moray explained. “That allows us to prepare for an increase in demand as the area and the region grows,” she added.
She said these projects allow them to upgrade the entire power grid in that area.
Moray said the Moundsville area transmission project involves increasing the capacity for what those lines can handle. She said once those projects are complete and up and running, the work will result in the company paying a “substantial amount” back annually into the tax base of Moundsville and Marshall County as a direct result from those projects.
Moray said the transmission update project in Moundsville is occurring simultaneously along with a second construction project, known as the “George Washington” line project, that will eventually span from Moundsville to Dilles Bottom and is expected to be complete by the summer of 2020. She said once the Moundsville transmission project is complete in several months, the George Washington project will kick more into “high gear.”
She said the implication with the George Washington project is “pretty clear” as to why they want to upgrade their infrastructure in that region of the Ohio Valley, although Moray acknowledged there is enough economic development in that area despite no official announcement yet on a proposed cracker plant for that area.