TVA Identifies Preferred Route for Alabama Transmission Line
March 4, 2010
CULLMAN, Ala. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority has identified a preferred route for a new transmission line that would provide power to Cullman Electric Cooperative’s proposed Helicon Substation.
The proposed 6.5-mile transmission line and substation would reduce outages and ensure continued, reliable power to the area by reducing demand on equipment that is close to being overloaded.
The preferred route for the 161-kilovolt transmission line begins at TVA’s existing Addison 161-kilovolt line and extends southeast for about 2 miles before turning south for another 4.5 miles to the proposed Helicon Substation in Arley, Ala.
This route is expected to have the fewest overall impacts of the routes studied. Appropriate National Environmental Policy Act reviews will be conducted on the proposed route.
About two miles of the route will be along existing right-of-way. The route affects approximately 55 parcels of land, with 21 of them along the existing right-of-way.
TVA will meet with property owners along the proposed new right-of-way to obtain 100-foot easements for construction, operation and maintenance of the line. An additional 25-foot easement will need to be obtained from property owners along the existing right-of-way, which is currently 75 feet wide. Property owners will retain possession of the property and will be compensated for the easements at fair market value.
TVA is expected to begin acquiring easements for the transmission right-of-way in January. Construction is scheduled to begin in September 2011, with completion of the project scheduled for December 2011.
TVA’s decision on the preferred route follows receipt and evaluation of public input on alternative route segments. TVA’s objective in determining a route is to select the best overall path, weighing the same environmental, land use, engineering, cultural and cost considerations to ensure the least impact overall and to the community at large.
The preferred route consists of alternative line segments 1, 4, 7 and 8. Those segments, the entire Helicon project map and additional information are available on TVA’s Web site at www.tva.gov/power/projects/index.htm.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.
Myra Ireland, Chattanooga (423) 413-5971
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville (865) 632-6000