Note:  This post has been updated with more information, please read below for new updates and links to additional information!

A new 138kV transmission line between Buckhannon and Weston has suddenly popped up in PJM's latest TEAC presentationClick here to see the specific PJM slide relating to this proposed project.  No route has been proposed (at least publicly) for this transmission project, but it will require new rights-of-way on previously undisturbed land... possibly yours, if you live between Buckhannon and Weston.

PJM says "Approval of all upgrades in this presentation, except those noted as still under review will be sought from the PJM Board of Managers at their May 17th meeting."

Who is the PJM Board of Managers?

Don't forget how FirstEnergy (Allegheny Energy at that time) treated the landowners and environment while building their TrAIL project.

UPDATED April 29:

Bill at The Power Line has done some research on the applicable WV Code section(s).  Read his post about the proposed B-W line here.

This proposed line is a perfect example of how PJM's tightly interconnected transmission system works.  Changes made many miles away from you can result in the need for changes in your backyard.  Remember, any changes to the transmission system will result in more changes.  The entire PJM TEAC presentation lists hundreds of (mostly small) changes related to generation plant closings, primarily equipment upgrades, reconductoring and rebuilding, but very few new lines.  Other PJM documentation indicates that the B-W line is a result of FirstEnergy's first wave of plant closings in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland announced on January 26.  Further planning changes could occur before PJM's proposed June 1, 2016 in service date.  Meanwhile, PJM will make due with "operating procedure in place to mitigate impacts until this upgrade [is] complete."

Fortunately, there is much that can be done to shape this transmission project now, if it indeed proves to be necessary.  This is by far the earliest affected landowners have taken notice of one of these projects.  How many landowners regularly peruse PJM's extensive document collection to fish out projects that may affect them?  None.  I just happened to notice this project while paging through the document for other purposes.

As well, landowners potentially affected by the B-W project have a wealth of knowledge from which to draw that has been developed by grassroots groups opposing the PATH project.  The power companies rely on their tried and true "divide and conquer" methods to get these projects built.  The landowners' most effective weapons to best protect their interests will be knowledge and solidarity, and above all, strategy.  It's never too early to begin organizing.  Don't wait until the power company land agent is knocking on your door.  And that's about as far as I would like to go in this venue.  If you're reading this on the internet, so are the power companies.  Development of effective strategy must be kept close.  If you would like to discuss further, email us or Bill at The Power Line, however, execution and action will need to be carried out by affected individuals.  Nobody else is going to make this proposal magically go away for you, you've got to help yourself.  Situations constantly present themselves in life that make you say to yourself, "someone should do something about that!"  Who is "someone?"  "Someone" doesn't exist - "someone" is you.


land owner
04/26/2012 7:49pm

$17,500,000 won't be enough money. West Virginians have become just a little too savvy to Allegheny's land agent land stealing tactics. No more shady land ripoffs. There is also West Virginia's new land owner notification law for Allegheny to contend with which removes the element of surprise that they have relied on in the past to pull the wool over the eyes of land owners. And don't forget the grassroots power line opposition that path and trail gave birth to that cuts Allegheny propaganda off at the knees.

Double that cost estimate.

Da hillbilly
04/27/2012 1:10pm

Unfortunately, IF this project gets approval, no matter what the true cost, we will all be paying for it in our bill. We now have several tools in place and we have a much more aware public, it's time to stop this project before it gets out of hand and in my bill. There is no increased need in electric transmission, just increased GREED!

04/28/2012 2:25am

I don't know if this line is needed or not, however they're not going to get away with ripping off uninformed landowners this time... because there won't be any! Of all the costs (many imprudent) tossed into power line project cost recovery, fair compensation to landowners doesn't bother me in the least. Shouldn't bother the power companies either, after all it's not their money, however they persist in trying to cheat the landowner every damned time. I've never quite figured out the logic here... except perhaps they get a little thrill out of getting away with it (and making those "hillbilly" jokes).

He who laughs last laughs best, eh First Energy? ;-)


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