AEP Develops New Cutting-Edge Transmission Technology

Nov 11, 2015 10:00 AM ET

American Electric Power develops new, innovative transmission line technology with an efficient, compact and more aesthetically pleasing line design, called BOLD (Breakthrough Overhead Line Design).

Developed by two AEP transmission employees, the BOLD line design has a smaller physical profile which provides for more efficient land use in the rights-of-way; reduces environmental and visual impacts; and delivers electricity more efficiently. The BOLD™ line capacity is 60 percent higher than conventional 345-kV lines, surpassing that of even a 500-kV line. That means a BOLD™ transmission line can carry as much power as a larger transmission line but requires less land. This makes the BOLDtechnology a great option for transmission line rebuilds and replacement in congested areas. The first BOLD™ transmission line is being built near Fort Wayne, Ind., and will be complete in 2016.

To date, BOLD has received seven patents in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Additional patent applications are pending in Europe, China, and South Korea.

Other advantages of BOLD:

  • Maximize existing right-of-way: BOLD™ provides 40 to 60 percent more capability in the same right-of-way, moving power more efficiently over long distances while potentially deferring the need for additional lines or rights-of-way. The streamlined design has a smaller footprint compared with traditional extra-high voltage lines. 

  • Lower-profile: BOLD™ towers provide a more attractive appearance and are one-third smaller, compared with conventional 345-kV towers.

  • Supports Renewable Energy growth: AEP’s vast transmission network serves a critical function in transporting power from renewable resources to customers. Today, more than 7,500 MW of renewable generation is interconnected to AEP’s transmission system and considerably more is in the queue. Transmission innovations like BOLD™ will support additional renewable integration by making the grid more efficient.

For more information about BOLD technology, visit