Detrick weighs in on FirstEnergy $40M utility line project.

$40M high-volt utility line project proposed in Clark County

First Energy wants to build a $40 million, high-voltage transmission line in Moorefield Twp. that may cause some area residents to sell part of their property.

The transmission lines are needed to increase electrical capacity and allow for future growth or economic development in in Clark County, said Doug Colafella, a spokesman for First Energy.

Clark County currently has two transmission lines and if approved, the project would add two more 138-kilovolt power lines in Moorefield Twp. between East County Line and Moorefield roads that will connect to an existing substation, he said.

“The idea is to reinforce electric service in the area. Provide additional sources of electricity into that substation so we can either prevent or shorten the duration of power outages. Just improve our overall ability to serve homes and businesses in the area,” Colafella said.

The three-part project includes doubling the electrical capacity of the Broadview Substation from 69-kilovolts to 138-kilovolts, said Tim Suter, an area manager at FirstEnergy.

In addition, the utility plans to string two transmission lines from the substation, including one that would stretch 5.5 miles from the recently constructed East Springfield-Tangy 138-kilovolt power line to the Broadview Substation.

Officials also want to build a 2-mile power line from the Clark-Urbana 138-kilovolt power line to the expanded Broadview Substation.

“When you have one single feed into a substation, if that line goes out, it takes longer to get power restored to customers. When you have multiple feeds into one substation it gives you more flexibility to be able to manage flows and electricity and restore customers faster when there’s an outage,” Colafella said.

The transmission lines will feed from a substation behind the Navistar plant over to a Willow Road substation, Suter said, and from there just north of Buck Creek near Columbus Road.

“What will happen is if we lose one of the (feeds) that are tied into DP&L or AEP, we’re able to switch it over and have the ability to feed it in a different direction … This gives us the ability to give us redundancy and reliability,” Suter said.

FirstEnergy is considering multiple routes for the power lines with the least impact to residents, he said, but will negotiate easements with property owners affected by construction.

The overall project and specific routes being considered will be discussed at a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. May 25 at the Moorefield Twp. Hall, 1616 Moorefield Road.

The Ohio Power Siting Board must approve the project before the company can move forward with construction. Colafella said officials plan to apply for approval early 2017.

If approved, construction would begin in late December 2017.

First Energy built a 60-mile, high-voltage utility line in 2014 that extends from Clark to Delaware counties to bolster electrical supply and reliability in the region.

Crews installed 80-foot wooden poles and a 138,000-volt power line from the East Springfield substation that connects to power lines in London and a substation in Delaware as part of the Springfield-London-Tangy Electricity Transmission Line Project.

The utility line was constructed in the area around U.S. 40 and Tuttle Road.

The additional power lines in Moorefield Twp. will improve “voltage stability in the area and allow for future load growth when new businesses and homes are built, and in general to improve the overall ability for FirstEnergy to provide safe and reliable service in the area,” Colafella said.

Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said he supports the project.

“It’s an upgrade and it’s good for the community because of the guarantee of electricity,” Detrick said.

He said FirstEnergy is studying rural areas instead of areas where there is a concentration of residents.

“The power lines are going to be safely built for the betterment of our community in northern Clark County,” Detrick said.

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