Appalachian Power Co. Presents New Power Line Proposal to Customers

Lynchburg, VA - Appalachian Power Company has announced an ambitious new plan to upgrade their power lines around Lynchburg and Campbell County.

A $32 million project, including ten miles of new lines, and utility poles.

The proposed paths of these lines run straight through many people's property, and while for now everything is preliminary, at a public hearing Tuesday, many people were up in arms.

"Are we upset? Yeah, we're crazy upset. Because when I look at this, it looks to me like someone arbitrarily threw spaghetti up against the wall to see what was going to stick," said AEP customer, Ed Hey.

Hey lives smack dab in the middle of AEP's proposed power line upgrade.

"Now they're going to go out on their back deck or whatever and listen to lines humming in their backyard, I mean that's insane. To do that to people to me, is unconscionable," he said.

When asked if the lines proposed to be built would improve service, AEP employee Todd Burns replied, "They can expect better service."

According to AEP officials, the proposed new lines connect two electrical "dead ends," substations that have no power running between them.

"Once we get those connected, if we experience an outage along the line, we can back feed and keep service flowing to customers. So it's a reliability issue is why we're trying to build the project," said Burns.

The project includes a brand new substation, and ten miles of new power lines held by massive new utility poles.

"We kind of enjoy it back here. We stay back here more than we do in the front," said AEP customer, Charles Wiley.

Charles and Phyllis Wiley's back yard butts up to a proposed path of new power lines. They've lived there for 50 years.

"We spend a lot of time in our backyard and I wouldn't care to be that close to them," said Phyllis.

AEP officials say the path of these poles has not yet been determined, and that they will use feedback from the public before any final decision is made.

They say if built, this new project will lessen the likelihood of power outages for more than 15,000 area customers.

Customers can find more information about the South Lynchburg Area Improvements project, or provide comments, at AEP's website.