ASHLAND, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Power on Monday announced a proposed transmission line route for power grid upgrades designed to improve electric reliability and increase economic development opportunities in eastern Kentucky, according to the utility company.
The Enterprise Park Economic & Area Improvements Project consists of building approximately 5 miles of 138-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Floyd and Pike counties and a new substation in the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park in Pike County. The park is home to Silver Liner, a truck manufacturer under construction, and EnerBlu, a battery storage manufacturer announced last year. Together, the businesses are projected to add nearly 1,200 jobs to the region.
The route and substation location for the transmission improvements were determined after gathering input from landowners and community members at an open house in May.
“The open house gave us an opportunity to talk with landowners about the project,” said Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite. “The information and feedback we received helped us develop a solution that we believe minimizes the effects to the community and environment, creates a catalyst for economic development and allows us to better serve our customers.”
The new substation will be located in the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park. The proposed transmission line route travels northwest from the new substation through Pike County and then crosses into Floyd County where it parallels the company’s existing 765 kV transmission line. The route ends where it connects to another existing power line west of Keathley Branch Road. Once complete, Kentucky Power will retire the Fords Branch Substation on Old Shelbiana Road.
“This is a complex project with an accelerated schedule,” Satterwhite said. “As always, we’ll work with landowners every step of the way.”
The new transmission line will be located in a 100-foot right-of-way. Kentucky Power right-of-way agents will start reaching out to directly involved property owners to discuss acquiring easements, access roads and construction activities. Kentucky Power plans to file for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the Kentucky Public Service Commission later this summer. Once approved, construction is expected to start in the fall and be complete by the middle of 2019. Additional information, including a detailed, searchable map, is available at www.kentuckypower.com/EnterprisePark.
Kentucky Power customers will pay only 4 to 6 percent of the project costs after the upgrade is complete. Transmission project expenses are shared among residents of several states served by grid operator PJM because all benefit from such grid-strengthening projects. Since the Enterprise Park project is still in the planning stages, total cost estimates are incomplete. Kentucky Power, based in Ashland, serves about 168,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties.