PIKEVILLE – Two transmission improvement projects totaling about $15 million near Elkhorn City and Pikeville are now online, bolstering reliability in eastern Kentucky.
The substation projects are designed to address low voltage, build redundancy and reduce outages. Their installation required a brief disruption of service to 1,170 customers on Wednesday in the Elkhorn City area. The outage allowed crews to safely switch customers to the new Breaks Station, which replaces the Elkhorn City Station. Crews also put an improved Cedar Creek Station near Pikeville online on Tuesday without disrupting service to customers.
The $11 million Breaks Station project included the installation of three higher voltage circuit breakers and transformer, as well as an improved distribution bank and control building. The project also relocated a section of distribution line out of a hilly pine thicket to a flat portion of land. The old substation will be removed later this year.
The $4 million Cedar Creek Station upgrades included the installation of two high voltage circuit breakers, a circuit switcher and a drop-in control module at the station, along with the replacement of a third circuit breaker.
“These transmission projects represent a significant investment in eastern Kentucky and will improve reliability for our customers,” said Kentucky Power President and COO Greg Pauley. “The projects show how we are modernizing our power delivery infrastructure and supporting our commitment to provide our customers with safe, reliable and affordable electrical service.”
The substation upgrades are part of a commitment by Kentucky Power and AEP to improve power quality and minimize outages across the service territory. Substations direct the flow of electricity and use transformers to transform the voltage to different levels so that the electricity can be distributed to customers.
Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Frankfort, Ky., provides service to nearly 170,000 customers in all or part of 20 eastern Kentucky counties. It is a unit of the American Electric Power system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.