Falling Branch - Merrimac Transmission Line Project

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On February 9th 2012, Appalachian Power filed an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to construct about 7.5 miles of 138 kV transmission line to reinforce the transmission grid that serves customers in Montgomery County, the Town of Blacksburg and the Town of Christiansburg. The project will connect to the existing Merrimac and Falling Branch substations. The company's application to the SCC identifies a Preferred Route – a 500' wide corridor in which ultimately a 100' right of way will be located. The Preferred Route was developed following an extensive public comment process and environmental analysis (see Siting Process).

Application to the State Corporation Commission (SCC) – February 9th 2012
  • SCC Approval Process (PDF)

  • Fact Sheets

    About Transmission Lines

    Three Kinds of Power Lines

    Three kinds of power lines exist between Appalachian Power’s customers’ homes and businesses and the company’s power plants

    • Extra high voltage (EHV) transmission lines
    • High voltage transmission lines
    • Distribution lines

    To use an analogy, EHV lines are like electrical interstates, high voltage lines are like limited-access four lane roads, and distribution lines are like two-lane roads that eventually connect to your driveway.

    Comparison of Typical Transmission Line Structures

    Electric utilities use a variety of different transmission towers and poles to move electricity to where it is consumed. Here are some typical types of transmission towers used by Appalachian Power.

    Examples of Existing 138 kV Power Lines

    Appalachian Power uses a variety of different transmission towers. These photos of are existing 138 kV transmission lines in service in Roanoke, VA.


    Approval Process

    In Appalachian Power's Virginia Service Territory, power lines 138 kV and above are reviewed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. View a flow chart of the approval process. (PDF)

    Example of Typical Structures

    Examples of 138 kV Power Lines