Legislation that allows certain electric utility substations and other facilities to sidestep local planning and zoning approval has cleared the House of Delegates and the Senate despite opposition from the Northern lawmakers. Those opposed say the law is “a Trojan horse aimed at stopping local elected officials and regulatory bodies from exercising their duties.” Senator Bill Stanley of Franklin County says the measure only applies to
Senator Bill Stanley of Franklin County says the measure only applies to 138-kilovolt transmission lines that are almost exclusively used by Appalachian Power in their Southwestern Virginia service area with a purpose of helping to get power connected to new industrial parks more quickly.
One of those lines involves Henry County and the new Commonwealth Crossing Industrial Park. Wednesday, Appalachian Power announced plans to build an additional 5 miles of 138-kilovolt line to serve advanced manufacturing. Appalachian says they are ready to go as soon as someone starts building the park. It should take them about a year and a half to build out the new line.