AEP Ohio seeks resident input for line expansion

By Josh Ellerbrock -

WAPAKONETA — To prepare for future development and increase system reliability, AEP Ohio is working with the City of Wapakoneta to build roughly 15 miles of 138-kilovolt transmission lines, construct two new substations and update a third substation in an area south of the city extending west to St. Marys.

Unlike power lines that may be seen in more populated areas, the Wapakoneta Area Improvements Project will utilize lines that can stand higher voltages to create another redundant line for the area. In other words, residents may see higher reliability, and companies who decide to do business in the area won’t put as much stress on the electrical infrastructure. Substations will be located on company-owned property.

Wapakoneta Electrical Department Superintendent Levi Cecil said there’s a big need for an increased capacity for industrial growth. The expansion will also create a secondary delivery point to the city’s electrical grid, Cecil said.

AEP Ohio will be hosting an informational open house to seek input from citizens that will be affected by the project from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Wapakoneta Middle School, 400 W. Harrison St. Meeting attendees will have an opportunity to speak to company representatives and provide local insight to those developing the project in order to determine the proposed route. No official presentation is planned for the meeting, but detailed maps and other information will be available for perusal.

Following the meeting, AEP Ohio officials will still have to design the project, seek regulatory approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board as well as acquire the property that may be needed for construction. The public meeting allows residents to have a say early in the process.

“Sometimes it can take a few years for these projects to be approved and constructed. We want to anticipate what those needs might be,”AEP Ohio spokesperson Scott Blake said.

The project includes sections of Pusheta, Washington, St. Marys, Duchouquet and Moulton townships. A construction start date has been set for summer of next year.

“A major benefit of an area with infrastructure in place is more reliable power coming into the area serving the area and providing essentially more power into the local area,” Blake said.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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