By LOU WILIN
American Electric Power won state approval Monday to build an $11 million substation on farmland two miles northeast of Findlay.
The 138-kilovolt substation, to be built in 2015, will aid development and reduce power outages in Hancock County and northwestern Ohio, American Electric Power said.
It will be on 67 acres southwest of the intersection of Hancock County 216 and Cass Township 238. Substation equipment will occupy four acres.
One line will be operational by January 2015 and the substation is scheduled to be fully operational by Dec. 29, 2015, American Electric Power said.
The substation was approved Monday by the Ohio Power Siting Board, an independent board within the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
Besides the new substation, the utility plans to make improvements at several existing substations, and upgrade and reroute existing transmission lines. The work will include replacing and upgrading several towers and structures.
“Without this reinforcement plan, the performance of the company’s transmission system will be inadequate to provide the level of service that its customers need and expect,” American Electric Power has said.
“In a worst-case scenario, uncontrolled widespread power outages affecting major portions of Hancock and nearby counties may materialize,” Erin Miller, an attorney for American Electric Power, stated last year in a letter to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
Outages are more likely to occur, for example, during periods of high electricity use, like hot summer days when many people are using air conditioning, said Vikki Michalski, spokesperson for American Electric Power.
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