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Wyoming-Jacksons Ferry 765-kV Project
Completed in 2006, American Electric Power’s 90-mile, 765kV Wyoming-Jacksons Ferry line runs from the Wyoming substation in West Virginia to the Jacksons Ferry substation in Virginia. After a lengthy permitting process lasting more than thirteen years and involving several state and federal agencies, the Wyoming-Jacksons Ferry line adopted many innovative environmental mitigation measures.
- Visual mitigation
- As much as possible, the line takes advantage of topography to limit visual impacts. This map (link) shows many bends in the Wyoming-Jacksons Ferry route, especially compared to nearby existing 345 kV transmission lines. The more circuitous route was selected to hide the line from view of roads, trails, and population centers.
- The line was sited to cross the Appalachian Trail at the same site where the trail crosses Interstate Highway 77, specifically to limit visual impacts to hikers.
- American Electric Power (AEP) used darker-than-customary steel on transmission towers to help towers blend in with the landscape along the trail. The company also used materials to cut down on reflective glare from conducting wires.
- Sound levels
- AEP cut down on audible buzzing from the Wyoming-Jacksons Ferry line by developing a unique six-bundle configuration for the extra-high voltage line, which reduced noise levels by half.
- Selective clearing of right-of-way
- Instead of completely clearing the rights-of-way, AEP leaves in place shorter trees, such as dogwoods and redbuds, to provide better habitat connectivity.
- Helicopter construction
- In order to minimize ground impacts during the construction phase, AEP used helicopters for hanging insulators, threading lead lines, transporting steel bundles and conductor reels, raising guyed-V towers in inaccessible sites, and transporting workers to worksites.
Organization: American Electric Power (AEP)
Location: West Virginia, Virginia
Project Phase: Construction (helicopters, visional/sound mitigation)
Last Updated: April 25, 2013