Jun 11, 2023

TVA plans to upgrade of transmission lines through Polk and Cherokee counties

The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning $28 million of transmission upgrades in Polk County, Tennessee, and Cherokee County, North Carolina, to help improve power reliability.

TVA is proposing to erect a switching station and 27 miles of new power lines to connect with the Apalachia Dam near Murphy, North Carolina, and extend power to the southeast.

TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler said the new transmission corridor through the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina will provide a second source of power to the substation and increase the capacity of TVA's Ranger substation for growth and further economic development in growing parts of Cherokee and Polk counties.

The new line will be built using primarily steel, H-frame structures with the potential for steel towers and single-pole structures, Fiedler said.

"We are doing the project to improve power reliability in the area," he said in an emailed statement.

The project is part of more than $2 billion that TVA plans to spend on transmission system improvements in its service areas through 2025, Fiedler said.

For its multi-county proposal, TVA is taking public input through Feb. 20. The public may also submit comments about the proposal and the transmission route.

Polk County Executive Robby Hatcher said in a phone interview Tuesday that the specific route for the transmission line "will be up to TVA and the landowners, including the national forest, in this area."

Fiedler said TVA invested more than $18 billion from 2014 through last year on generation and transmission improvements to expand and modernize its electric system, including the addition of a second nuclear reactor at its Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee and the construction of new gas-fired combined cycle plants in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Fielder said TVA spends about $1 billion a year to maintain existing assets and is building a new $300 million operations center in Meigs County.

Submit comments about the proposal

Contact TVA’s Austin Ethridge:

— Phone: 800-362-4355.

— Email: [email protected].

— Mail: Austin Ethridge, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market St., MR 4G, Chattanooga, TN, 37402-2801.

– Compiled by Dave Flessner

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