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TVA sets Rainsville new power line route

19 September 2009 1,013 views No Comment

TVA chose two-mile route for new power lines in Rainsville that will connect with a proposed new substation for Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative.

Earlier this week, a statement released by TVA said the preferred route for the new lines would be parallel and just to the east of Highway 75. Under this plan, the lines would run south from Shankles Road and cross Williams Street and County Road 570 at different points.

The new lines will run off TVA’s existing Goose Pond-Fort Payne line to the new Rainsville substation, to be located near the intersection of Industrial Drive and Dilbeck Road.

TVA spokesperson Myra Ireland said representatives of the agency would meet with affected property owners along the new right-of-way to obtain 100-foot-wide easements for construction, operation and maintenance of the line. Property owners will be compensated for the easements at fair market value and will continue to own their property.

Ireland said TVA expects to begin acquiring the easements for the transmission right-of-way during the spring of 2010, and construction should begin during the winter of 2010-2011 with project completion scheduled for April 2011.

“TVA’s decision on the preferred route follows receipt and evaluation of public input on alternative route segments for the transmission line,” she said. “TVA’s objective in determining a route is to select the best overall path, weighing environmental, land use, engineering, cultural, and cost considerations to ensure that overall project impacts, as well as impacts to the community at large, are minimized.”

The project represents a total monetary investment of about $4 million, according to Tom Cureton, TVA transmission line projects coordinator. The project cost will be split about equally between the two involved agencies, with SMEC paying for construction of the substation itself and TVA paying to run the connecting power lines.

Both Ireland and SMEC General Manager Mike Simpson said the project would have no impact on consumer power rates, as both agencies have planned and budgeted for the upgrade.

Simpson said such upgrades are actually relatively common, with SMEC typically constructing new substations every three to five years.

Ireland said the new substation and lines are necessary because some of SMEC’s existing equipment in Rainsville is already running at capacity during the hottest part of the summer and soon may not be able to sufficiently handle the power supply load. Ireland said, if the planned upgrades aren’t made, Rainsville could begin to experience intermittent power outages.

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