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Riceville, Tennessee

TVA is considering improvements to its transmission system that would provide power for growing load and increase power reliability in the Riceville area of McMinn County in Tennessee.   

TVA’s East Cleveland 161-kilovolt Substation currently serves the Riceville, Tennessee area as well as Volunteer Energy Cooperative’s Riceville and Tasso 69-kilovolt Substations.  Transformers at these substations are beginning to show signs of age since they are nearing the end of their life cycle.  Due to these issues, Volunteer Energy Cooperative is planning to convert the Riceville 69-kilovolt Substation to 161-kilovolt operation and has requested TVA provide a new power line to the substation. As part of a separate project in the area, Volunteer Energy Cooperative will also convert their Tasso 69-kilovolt Substation to 161-kilovolt operation.

TVA proposes to build an approximately 1.3-mile line from our Charleston-Athens 161-kilovolt Transmission Line to Volunteer Energy Cooperative’s upgraded Riceville 161-kilovolt Substation. The line would begin between Structures 36 and 37 on the Charleston-Athens line and extend southeast to the Riceville Substation located at 3502 County Road 718.

In addition to this work, TVA will install two motor-operated-disconnect (MOD) switches in the Charleston-Athens line, one MOD switch in the new Riceville line, and one MOD switch in TVA’s East Cleveland-Charleston District-Structure 180A (Riceville) Transmission Line to provide backfeed capabilities to Volunteer Energy Cooperative’s upgraded Tasso 161-kilovolt Substation. 

The new 1.3-mile line would be built using primarily single-pole, steel structures centered on new 100-foot-wide right of way. The scheduled completion date for this project is winter 2024-2025.

TVA will hold a virtual information session from July 14 through August 15, 2022, online at where detailed maps of the project will be displayed. Property owners and members of the public will be able to submit questions by email, telephone, or in writing.

The project is expected to be in service in winter 2024-2025. Construction is scheduled to begin in winter 2023-2024.  (Dates are subject to change.  Unexpected issues may arise, resulting in the need to adjust the schedule.)

Single Pole Circuit

Public Involvement

TVA is committed to working with area stakeholders to address concerns during various stages of the project.

TVA will hold a virtual information session to provide information about the proposed transmission project. The virtual information session may be accessed at from July 14 through August 15, 2022.

Property owners and members of the public will be able to submit questions by email, telephone, or in writing. Large maps showing the proposed transmission project will be displayed.

Any names and addresses received at the virtual information session will become part of the administrative record.

If you are not able to access the virtual information session but have questions, you may contact Austin Ethridge (see contact information below).


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).

Riceville, Tennessee Open House Map

Project Schedule

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

Virtual Information Session begins July 14, 2022
Virtual Information Session Ends August 15, 2022
Surveys of the right of way are scheduled to begin Fall 2022
Easement purchases are scheduled to begin Spring 2023
Construction is scheduled to begin Winter 2023-2024
Project in service Winter 2024-2025

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.


More information on this project can be obtained from:

Austin Ethridge
[email protected]
1101 Market Street, MR 4G
Chattanooga, TN 37404-2801