Apco transmission rate adjustment request includes plan to promote job growth

ROANOKE, Va. – A plan by Appalachian Power to promote job growth and investment in southwest Virginia is included in a new transmission rate adjustment clause petition filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC).

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Aerial image and site information are available on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership website

The company is seeking SCC approval to construct several miles of high voltage power line and a new substation at Wildwood Commerce Park in Carroll County, a 270-acre regional industrial park.  Electrical infrastructure with the capacity for future load growth provides localities with a significant advantage in attracting and retaining large industry and jobs. If approved, Appalachian Power intends to begin construction on the 138-kilovolt transmission line extension and substation this year with completion of the project expected late next year.

“Many industrial prospects today won’t consider a site without utility infrastructure in place,” said Aaron Walker, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer. “Prospects want shovel-ready sites. Providing an upfront, dedicated energy source would be a gamechanger and opportunity to positively impact this area for generations through job creation and tax base.”

In Virginia, a public utility is allowed to recover the costs associated with infrastructure development into and within industrial sites identified by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership under a pilot program approved by the Virginia General Assembly. Last year, the SCC approved Appalachian Power’s request to recover the cost of utility infrastructure investments in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre and Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill. Wildwood Commerce Park is the company’s third site submitted to the SCC for approval under the legislation.

Appalachian Power’s petition filed Thursday seeks to recover its business park investments as well as to cover an increase in transmission charges, as administered by PJM. PJM is the independent regional transmission organization that manages the electric grid in 13 states, including Virginia.

Appalachian Power requested to increase the authorized Transmission Rate Adjustment Clause (T-RAC) from $368.1 million to $413.2 million, a $45.1 million increase. The T-RAC is the portion of a customer’s bill that recovers costs for transmission services, fees and new construction.

If approved by the Commission, the change will increase the monthly bill for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours by $4.15, or roughly 2.6 percent, from the March 2023 typical bill. A decision by the SCC is required in three months and any rate change implemented within 60 days of the final order.