American Electric Power has finalized its transmission joint venture with Allegheny Energy to build a 290-mile high-voltage transmission line from the John Amos power plant through central West Virginia into Maryland.

The total project is estimated to cost approximately $1.8 billion.

AEP's share of the estimated costs will be approximately $600 million.

The joint venture holding company, named Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline LLC, plans to file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in early fall 2007 on behalf of its operating companies to establish a rate of return and appropriate rates to recover the costs of the project.

Work also will begin on a routing study and environmental assessment for the project, which will require about one year to complete.

An early direct line map shows the project coming through Calhoun County.

The joint venture's operating companies will seek regulatory approvals for the project from the utility commissions in both West Virginia and Maryland following the completion of the routing study.

AEP will have lead responsibility for engineering, designing and managing construction of the 765-KV elements of the project through a service agreement with the joint venture operating companies.

Allegheny will have similar responsibilities for 500-KV elements.

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