Rapid growth needs rapid power: TVA asking for comments on proposed transmission project in Hardin Valley

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Valley Authority said Thursday it’s asking for public input on proposed transmission system upgrades in the Hardin Valley area “to provide necessary power for growing load demand and continued power reliability in Knox and Loudon counties.”

Hardin Valley seeing rapid growth

Hardin Valley is the fastest-growing area in Knox County; a new transmission line and substation are needed to resolve capacity issues as the population continues to rapidly grow in that area.

According to the TVA, what makes Hardin Valley the fastest-growing area is a population growth rate averaging about 3.9 percent from 1990 to 2017. Also, construction of new homes in the area has increased significantly since 2012, with an average of 220 new dwellings annually from 2012 to 2017; that number has continued to rise over the last three years. In order for Lenoir City Utilities Board to continue to provide reliable and quality power, the TVA says upgrades to the distribution system are essential.

Proposed transmission project

TVA has proposed to invest around $7.1 million to build 5-to-6.5 miles of single-circuit transmission line from the Watt Road-Oak Ridge National Laboratory 161-kilovolt transmission line, to be located northeast to the new Hardin Valley 161-kilovolt substation planned by Lenoir City Utilities Board.

The new line would be built using primarily steel, single-pole structures centered on new 100-foot-wide right of way.

Three alternative tap points and numerous alternative segments are under consideration for the route of the new line. 

Where & when to submit public input

TVA said during the course of the project they are encouraging public input.

Property owners are encouraged to access the virtual open house at TVAvirtual.com/HardinValley between Oct. 22 and Nov. 23. Property owners will be able to submit questions and comments.

The public may also submit comments by contacting TVA’s Todd Liskey toll free at 800‑362-4355, by email at newtransline@tva.gov or by mail to:  Todd Liskey, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1101 Market St., MR 4G, Chattanooga, TN, 37402-2801.

The deadline for comments is Monday, Nov. 23.  

After that, field surveys and and right-of-way surveys will be scheduled through next year as well as easement purchases; with construction estimated to begin in summer 2022.

The project is expected to be in service in winter 2022-2023.

For more information – find it here:

Information about the project can be found here, including detailed maps showing the different locations being considered for the proposed transmission line and the estimated schedule, which began Thursday.

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