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High Voltage Power Line
To Come Through Calhoun
Both Proposed Routes Will Cross County
by Bill Bailey
     

Updated on Wednesday*:

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According to information provided by Allegheny Energy Co., the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) will be coming through Calhoun County sometime in 2012.

The 765-kilovolt high voltage line will originate at the John Amos substation near St. Albans and cross 244 miles of West Virginia to a substation north-east of Martinsburg. From there, it will extend another 46 miles and end at a substation southeast of Frederick, Md.

The project will cost an estimated $1.8 billion, and be shared by 51 million customers in 13 states and D.C.

The maps provided by PATH show two possible routes for the line, one crossing the southern end of Calhoun, north of Stinson, and the other running parallel to the existing electric line between Spencer and Glenville, which passes just west of Grantsville.

The decision of which route is chosen is up to W.Va. Public Service Commission, but the preferred route by PATH would be the one paralleling the existing line.

Allegheny Energy has held informational meetings on the proposed right-of-way in Gilmer and Roane counties and more are scheduled in other affected counties.

PATH has created a website for anyone wanting information or to comment on the project at www.pathtransmission.com.

The regulatory review process is expected to take about a year.

U.S. Department of Energy, North American Electric Reliability Corp., and PJM Interconnection have called for new transmission lines to be built to prevent reliability concerns with the current electricity grid.

The demand for electricity in the U.S. has seen an increase of 432% since 1960. Some adjoining states, like Maryland, have witnessed an increase of 680%.

Towers that hold the lines will be made of metal and measure 82 ft. wide at the top with a base ranging from 34 to 62 ft. Height of the towers will range from 72 to 177 ft.

The benefit for Calhoun will be improved infrastructure with a 765-kilovolt line running through the area, which may help attract industry.

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