Monday, January 04, 2010

Allegheny Energy - AEP Power Line Application Delayed

A hearing judge at the Virginia Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities, deferred a decision on whether a 275-mile, $1.8 billion Appalachian electric power transmission line would be needed by 2012 or 2013 until more information is available. Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power Company, the proposed builders of the line, also requested from the hearing judge that it be allowed to withdraw its application and refile later, possibly by the end of 2010, after more work is done on energy-use forecasts.

Although traditional environmental groups generally oppose these power line proposals, the Center generally supports their construction. The Piedmont Environmental Council in Warrenton, Virgina is the primary environmental group opposing this proposal because they believe it is not necessary, will spoil the viewshed and supports coal-fired power plants. We believe the line is necessary, do not mind the look of the power lines and these lines are needed to transport renewable wind power in addition to cheap coal.

Utilities must prove that specific projects are needed for reliability purposes or they aren't granted the certificates of public convenience and necessity that are required to seize land through condemnation proceedings. In normal times, electricity demand grows at a rate of about 2 percent per year. Electric utilities have the fidiciary responsibility to provide the power that society demans. (WSJ, 1/4/10)

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