AEP touts $169 million in area upgrades


The Times-Gazette



AEP said this week that it has invested approximately $169 million across its Chillicothe territory, including Hillsboro, to improve service to customers.

“Our job is to keep that power on,” said Selwyn Dias, vice president of AEP Ohio distribution operations, in a press release. “We take this very seriously. Next to safety, providing our customers with reliable service is our top priority. Everything we do is planned and strategic to better serve our customers.”

AEP said that electricity “has been making lives easier since its beginnings in the late 1800s. AEP Ohio’s system has been getting that power to people since 1906.”

Today, AEP Ohio’s customers use electricity to light, heat and cool their homes and businesses, and to power the many electric appliances and electronic devices and gadgets that are the staples of modern living.

“To keep that power flowing, AEP Ohio has invested approximately $169 million across its Chillicothe territory since 2013 to better serve area customers. These funds have gone to:

* inspect lines and equipment that deliver power to customers;

* rebuild lines;

* add new lines;

* replace overhead wires;

* convert lines to higher voltage;

* create ties to other circuits to allow for switching and quicker restoration when an outage happens;

* replace poles and other equipment;

* rebuild and replace substations; and

* add new substations.

“Our regular maintenance and repair plan allows us to maintain and strengthen our existing lines and equipment,” said Michele Ross, Chillicothe District manager distribution system. “This helps us provide more reliable service and still build new lines to serve new customers and support economic development.”

Work plans are done yearly. Work may be completed within that year or be ongoing for an extended period, said the company.

Hillsboro, Aberdeen, Bidwell, Circleville, Chillicothe, Ironton, McArthur, Oak Hill, Piketon, Portsmouth and Seaman are some of the more than 40 southern Ohio communities where AEP Ohio is improving service for its customers.

AEP Ohio also has invested nearly $29 million across the region since 2013 to trim and clear trees away from lines and equipment. One tree contacting a power line can cause an outage for hundreds or even thousands of customers. The company’s cycle-based vegetation management program has reduced tree-caused outages across Ohio by nearly 80 percent since 2010, the company said.

AEP Ohio’s Chillicothe District serves more than 120,000 customers in 14 counties. For more facts about AEP Ohio and Chillicothe District, visit AEPOhio.com.

The Times-Gazette

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