American Electric Power invited Delaware County residents to the Tuesday evening informal gathering at the YMCA to explain upgrades that will be installed in Berlin, Brown, Delaware, and Troy townships over the next year.
AEP representative Vikki Michalski said the company will construct a 17-mile route of new 69-kilovolt transmission lines because the existing lines are aging and need updated.
“This project will modernize the transmission and distribution electric grid in Delaware,” Michalski said. “The cost of the project is about $25 million.”
Michalski said the project will not only upgrade power lines, but also includes upgrading the Lincoln substation and building a Berrywood substation.
“The investment will help continue the reliability of AEP’s service to its Delaware County customers,” she said.
Michalski said the power company will install 85-foot steel poles that are smaller than the large towers normally seen in rural areas. The poles will be placed in the center of a 50-foot right-of-way allowing for 25 feet on each side.
“They are stronger and more resilient to the bad weather,” she said. “All the upgrades and improvements are related to the growth of Delaware County.”
Michalski said that some of the land is already owned by AEP due to anticipation of the growth in Delaware. AEP is also working with land owners to purchase the rest of the land needed for the project.
“Delaware is the fastest growing county in Ohio right now,” Michalski said. “It’s a brand new line and additional infrastructure to help with that growth.”
According to Brett Schmied, project outreach specialist, the work will begin this year and he anticipates construction to continue to completion in 2018.
“It’s all projected at this time,” he said. “It will begin with tree and limb clearance.”
Schmied said the work will affect the more rural areas of the county and not as much the housing developments.
More information can be found online by going to http://www.aeptransmission.com/ohio/Lincoln-Berrywood/
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.