The Tennessee Valley Authority has identified a preferred location for a new transmission line that would help support load growth and increase power reliability in the Appalachia area of Polk County in Tennessee and Cherokee County in North Carolina. TVA will build the Martins Creek Switching Station near 455 New Martins Creek Road in Murphy, North Carolina, and will also build a 161-kilovolt transmission line from the Appalachia Hydro Plant Substation in Reliance, Tennessee, to Structure 534 located near Dickey Road.
The selected route is expected to have the least impact on the area, based on public input that started in January, and additional evaluation of other factors, including social, environmental and engineering impacts. A National Environmental Policy Act review is also pending. Letters have been sent to affected property owners.
The new line would be less than 26 miles and built using primarily H-frame, and may include steel structures on existing and new 100-foot-wide right of way. TVA will meet with property owners along the proposed right of way to obtain easements for construction, operation, and maintenance of the line. Property owners would still own the property and be compensated for the easements at fair market value.
TVA is expected to begin surveys in winter 2023-2024 and start acquiring easements in summer 2025. Construction is scheduled to begin in winter 2025-2026 and be completed in winter 2026-2027. A map of the project and additional information is available on the TVA website at tva.com/transmissionprojects.
TVA reports that population growth is six times higher than the national rate across its seven state region. To support this growth, TVA is investing $2.8 billion in transmission system improvements across its service area through 2027, to build the energy grid of the future that will continue to provide reliable, affordable, resilient and clean energy.