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AEP Ohio has plans for county

The topic was power during the most recent Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

AEP Ohio marketing supervisor Ken Boldman was the guest speaker and he discussed several projects planned for the county in 2014.

“We are doing pole and equipment inspections on an end-of-life cycle now,” Boldman said. “Here in Lawrence County we actually started last year by replacing 130 poles proactively. By the end of this year we expect to replace about 400 poles in the county.”

AEP is also looking to improve service on County Road 1 in Burlington by replacing outdated, overhead wire systems.

“Our engineers are working on a plan that will replace 76 overhead spans of wire,” Boldman said. “These overhead wire systems contain smaller, older wires and we’ll replace them with larger, newer underground wires.”

AEP currently has a 34,000 volt power line at The Point, but according to Boldman, AEP has plans to upgrade to a line with higher voltage.

“The current line gives us a lot of capacity,” he said. “But, we are actually going to up that 34.5 (kV) line to a more powerful line that will expand out capacity even further in the industrial park. This will help attract more industries and businesses to locate in the park.”

Boldman also took the time to speak on recent government regulations and the challenges that such regulations place on the power industry.

“Could you imagine the government stepping in and telling McDonald’s that by 2025 they have to sell 25 percent less cheeseburgers than they do currently,” Boldman asked.” Then on top of that demanding that a certain percent of the company’s total sales come from salads? That would make it really difficult to do business.”