Cullman, Alabama (Trade)

Update – August 2020

TVA has identified the preferred location for transmission improvements that would provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Trade area of Cullman County in Alabama.

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 proposed 10.5-mile line would begin at Cullman Electric Cooperative’s (EC’s) existing Bremen 161-kilovolt Station located on Alabama Highway 69 and extend northwest to the upgraded Trade Station.   The upgraded Trade Station is located west of the intersection of County Roads 937 and 933. 

The route selected is No. 3 which consists of segment Nos. 1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 15, 19, 23, 27, 36, and 37 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 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 Trade area of Cullman County in Alabama.

This area is served by Cullman Electric Cooperative (EC). Cullman EC built the existing Trade 46-kilovolt Station as a temporary fix with used equipment. The existing 11-mile-long, radial 46-kilovolt transmission line that serves the Trade Station from the Jones Chapel Station was built by a coal company in 1977 as a temporary feed and later conveyed to Cullman EC. An increase in lakefront development around Lewis Smith Lake in the area served from the Trade Station has caused seasonal surges in demand resulting in significant voltage drops. Cullman EC is experiencing up to a 7 percent drop in voltage on the old 46-kilovolt line.

Due to the age, low performance and poor condition of these facilities, Cullman EC has decided to retire the 46-kilovolt line and expand and upgrade the Trade Station to 161-kilovolt.

TVA proposes to build a 161-kilovolt transmission line to serve the upgraded Trade Station.

Retiring the 46-kilovolt line, upgrading the existing Trade Station and building a 161-kilovolt line is the most economical solution to provide for load growth and improve reliability in the area.

TVA’s proposed power line would begin at Cullman EC’s existing Bremen 161-kilovolt Station located on Alabama Highway 69. The new line would then extend northwest 11 miles to the upgraded Trade Station located west of the intersection of County Roads 937 and 933.

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

H Frame 161kv

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 Map

Possible Routes Map

Project Schedule

(Dates are subject to change. Unexpected issues may arise, resulting in the need to adjust the schedule.)

Open houseJanuary 18, 2020
Comments acceptedFebruary 18, 2020
Determine preferred route for field surveysSpring 2020
Surveys of right of way scheduled to beginWinter-Spring 2021
Easement purchases scheduled to beginFall 2022
Construction scheduled to beginWinter 2022-2023

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:

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