The proposed route crosses into Maryland before coming back across Jefferson County south of Charles Town, and then on east into Maryland.
Details of the numbers of homes and other buildings affected, stream crossings and other impacts were not available. AEP officials said those were contained in a routing study filed Friday with the PSC, but not made public by the company or the agency Friday afternoon. More detailed testimony from the company to support its belief that the power line is needed is yet to be made public.
Also, landowners along the route will still not know exactly the impact on their homes. Routing maps chart a 2,200-foot-wide corridor, inside which a 200-foot right of way for the transmission line and towers would be built.
Under state law, if the PSC approves the project, the power company can take a right of way through eminent domain if landowners refuse to go along with the project.
Press materials released by AEP also did not include figures for what sorts of rate increases would be sought to pay for PATH. Company spokesman Phil Moye later put the figure at 67 cents a month for an average customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. That's on top of the current cost of $72 per month. AEP's Appalachian Power already is seeking to increase that average cost to about $84 per month, according to Moye.
Friday's filing of the formal application for the PATH project starts a 400-day clock ticking under state law for the PSC to approve or reject the proposal.
Commissioners are expected to set deadlines for various parties - the PSC staff, consumer advocate and citizens - to file responses. Then, the PSC likely will set public hearings in the affected areas, as well as formal evidentiary hearings in Charleston.
Before it can approve the project, the PSC must confirm that the power line "will economically, adequately and reliably contribute to meeting the present and anticipated requirements for electric power of the customers served ... and desirable for present and anticipated reliability of service for electric power for its service area or region."
State law also says the PSC must determine whether the project "will result in an acceptable balance between reasonable power needs and reasonable environmental factors."