Blue Ridge, Georgia (Scenic Drive)

Update -- May 2020

TVA has identified preferred locations for transmission upgrades that would provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Blue Ridge area of Fannin County in Georgia.

TVA evaluated each route using social, engineering, and environmental factors.  Information sources included available data, aerial photography, limited onsite reviews, public review and comment, and property owner input.  Based on public input and evaluation, the preferred route is expected to have the least overall project impacts of the alternatives.

TVA’s 3.63-mile proposed line would begin at TVA’s Basin-Toccoa River 161-kilovolt transmission line and extend southwest to Tri-State Electric Membership Corporation’s new Scenic Drive 161-kilovolt Substation.  The new substation will be located near 2700 Scenic Drive in Blue Ridge.

The route selected is No. 7 which consists of segment Nos. 6, 7, 9, and 11 as presented at the open house in January 2020.

The new line would consist of a combination of single-pole and H-frame, steel structures centered on a new 100-foot-wide right of way.  

Background

TVA is considering improvements to its transmission system that would provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Blue Ridge area in Fannin County.    

Tri-State Electric Membership Corporation serves the Blue Ridge area from the Blue Ridge and Epworth 69-kilovolt Stations.  TVA serves these stations from its 69-kilovolt transmission system.  The Blue Ridge 69-kilovolt Station has exceeded its capacity, and the Epworth 69-kilovolt Station is approaching its capacity.  Construction of a new educational facility is expected to add to this overload problem at the Blue Ridge 69-kilovolt Station.  Additional capacity is needed in the area to resolve these issues.

Tri-State EMC plans to build the Scenic Drive 161-kilovolt Station to resolve capacity issues and improve reliability.

TVA proposes to build from 4 to 5 miles of 161-kilovolt power line to serve the new station.

The proposed power line would begin at TVA’s Basin-Toccoa River 161-kilovolt Transmission Line and extend southwest to Tri-State EMC’s new station to be located near 2700 Scenic Drive.

There are three possible tap points and eleven alternative line segments under consideration for the route of the new transmission line. The line would be built using a combination of single-pole and H-frame, steel structures centered on a new 100-foot-wide right of way.

hs1g-transmission-structure-195h

Public Involvement

TVA held an open house in January 2020 to discuss the project and answer questions. A 30-day comment period followed the open house.

Map

The map shows the area of the proposed transmission improvements. The map is also available below as a PDF file.

If you have questions or need help understanding the map, please contact TVA (see below).

Preferred route of proposed transmission line (PDF)

Possible routes of proposed transmission line (PDF)

Project Schedule

(Dates are subject to change. During projects of this magnitude, unexpected issues may arise, resulting in the need to adjust the schedule.)

Open house

January 30, 2020

Comments accepted

March 2, 2020

Determine preferred route for field surveys

May 2020

Surveys of the right of way are scheduled to begin

Fall 2020

Easement purchases are scheduled to begin

Summer-fall 2021

Construction is scheduled to begin

Winter 2021-2022

Project in service

Spring 2022

Environmental Reviews

The appropriate National Environmental Policy Act review will be conducted to ensure that the environmental impacts are minimized. TVA attempts to minimize any land requirements, private property impacts, and environmental impacts associated with this project.

Efforts are made during the siting process to avoid or minimize impacts to floodplains and wetlands in accordance with Executive Orders 11988 and 11990. Floodplains and wetlands are shown on the referenced map. The map illustrates how the route avoids or impacts floodplains and wetlands. Because of project and topographic constraints and because of minimizing impacts to other social, environmental, and engineering resources, no practicable alternative may be available that would allow complete avoidance of impacts to floodplains and wetlands which may require mitigation for minimizing impacts. Also, best management practices would be utilized throughout the project to minimize adverse floodplain and wetland impacts. In compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, TVA will be coordinating wetland findings with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Contact

More information on this project can be obtained from:

Rob Nidiffer
newtransline@tva.gov
800-362-4355
1101 Market Street, MR 4G
Chattanooga, TN 37402