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The line is at the end of its service life and needs to be replaced to maintain reliability for our customers.

Balcony falls skimmer project map

Updates

  • Project Informational Meeting – TBA
  • April 2021 – Permitting activities and project design continue.

Benefits

  • Upgrade to current 115 kilovolt (kV) standards
  • Utilize the existing right of way with minimal exceptions
  • Use brown, weathering steel H-frames and monopoles

Overview & Project Description

Two 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines were built in the 1920s with a combination of steel lattice structures and wooden H-frames in the 9.2-mile right of way corridor that runs through Rockbridge, Amherst, and Bedford counties. Both electric transmission circuits begin at our Balcony Falls Substation in Rockbridge County. They primarily share the same structures until they reach Cushaw Substation at the hydroelectric generation facility in Amherst County. From there, one circuit continues to Skimmer Substation in Bedford County.

The existing wooden H-frame and steel lattice structures will be replaced with a combination of brown, weathering steel H-frame and steel pole structures.

Existing Transmission Corridor Conditions

  • Project area is 9.2 miles long
  • Right of way width is primarily 125 feet wide with some 100-foot sections
  • Average H-frame structure height is 46 feet
  • Average lattice structure height is 80 feet
  • 85 structures in the corridor

Proposed Transmission Corridor Conditions

  • Average height of structure in double-circuit section from Balcony Falls-Cushaw is 94.2 feet
  • Average structure height in single-circuit section from Cushaw-Skimmer is 60.5 feet
  • 73 total structures in proposed corridor
  • Maximum structure height increase of 63 feet in Balcony Falls-Cushaw section
  • Maximum structure height increase of 17 feet in Cushaw-Skimmer section

Timeline

  • End of 2023 - Complete project
  • Early 2022 - Begin construction
  • March 2020 - Project announcement sent to neighbors
  • Q1 2020 - Q3 2021 - Permitting activities and conceptual design
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