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Electric system upgrades in South Shore provide economic development opportunity

December 14, 2023

ASHLAND, Ky., December 14, 2023 – Providing reliable power in the small communities served by Kentucky Power is a fundamental driver for development. From economic growth to education, reliable electrical infrastructure is critical for a community’s viability.

New Tygart Station

Recognizing this, Kentucky Power’s reliability enhancement initiatives are underway to strengthen and modernize the electric system in Greenup County, Ky., where the company’s crews have already constructed a new substation in the Tygart Creek area with new lines feeding power to South Shore.

“Reliable electricity is the centerpiece of development,” said Phillip Tolliver, Kentucky Power’s Ashland district manager. “This project will enhance reliability and capacity in both the South Shore and Lloyd areas and provide an environment conducive for economic expansion when all the work is complete.”

Construction of a tie line spanning from Tygart station to Greenup County’s Greysbranch station is set for completion by next summer. A tie line, Tolliver explained, acts like an electric highway connecting circuits together allowing them to transfer power. If an electrical interruption occurs on one circuit, customers can be transferred to the other circuit to keep the power flowing. Among the customers benefitting from the tie line are Greenup County High School and Greysbranch Elementary School.

The project reached a milestone in November when the new Tygart substation was officially put into service. The new substation replaced the decommissioned South Shore’s Siloam station, which had provided the area with power since 1961.

“This project required extensive planning and teamwork – from design to property acquisition, to obtaining necessary materials and the actual construction of the new facilities,” Tolliver said. “Energizing the new station was a great day when we got to see a lot of hard work come to fruition. We hope to see Greenup County grow and prosper.”

The new electrical system was designed to enhance immediate reliability needs but also for potential economic development, which the new capacity and transferability will enable, said Justin Holsinger, Kentucky Power district dispatching supervisor. SCADA, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, was added to Tygart station, along with DACR, Distribution Automation Circuit Reconfiguration, as a future option for detecting outages and rerouting power automatically.

New line feeding power to South Shore

“SCADA allows us to see events in real time. That means if an outage occurs, alarms come through to our system operators instantly so we can get restoration personnel directed to the exact site much faster,” Holsinger explained. “These enhancements will allow us to see all of the benefits that come with having remote visibility and operability.”

Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Ashland, provides electric service to approximately 163,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties, including Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Rowan. Kentucky Power is an operating company in the AEP system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system. AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.


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