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Appalachian Power is planning power grid upgrades in Kanawha and Jackson counties for which the company expects to begin construction in fall 2021, affecting about 600 property owners.

The Kenna Area Transmission Line Project, which Appalachian Power announced last week, includes building about 20 miles of electric transmission line.

The plan also includes building a substation and upgrading two substations in the area.

The proposed upgrades start at the Ripley Substation, off Klondyke Road in Ripley, and end at the Sisson Substation near Interstate 77 in Sissonville. The company has proposed building the new Kenna Substation near the intersection of Route 34 and I-77 in Kenna.

Appalachian Power has invited property owners to a virtual open house at to see an interactive map showing proposed routes and how those routes can affect properties.

Landowners can also give feedback that will help the project team determine whether it needs to adjust its plans either online or via a comment card to be included in a packet in the mail that they can expect to receive.

“We have a general idea of what we think is best, but we won’t know until we hear back,” Appalachian Power spokesperson George Porter said. “We don’t know the details of those properties. We don’t know if your grandparents were married under that oak tree and you want to keep that oak tree. We need to know that. We need to try to adjust around it, move around it, whatever.”

Porter said Appalachian Power typically gets feedback from about 15% to 20% of customers that the company reaches out to for comment.

Project construction is expected to conclude by fall 2023. Right-of-way acquisition is slated to begin in summer 2021.

The company said the upgrades are to increase electric reliability for customers, strengthen the local power grid by bringing an additional power source to the area and reduce the likelihood of power outages. Crews plan to build the transmission line mainly using steel H-frame poles and towers.

Appalachian Power is part of Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power and has 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power in the latter).

Reach Mike Tony at, 304-348-1236 or follow at

@Mike__Tony on Twitter.