American Electric Power last week outlined the work it has completed in a $10-million improvement project aimed at stopping power outages in Muirfield Village.

American Electric Power last week outlined the work it has completed in a $10-million improvement project aimed at stopping power outages in Muirfield Village.

AEP began work in the fall on updating nearly all of the 90 miles of electric cable under Muirfield Village. Residents had been complaining for years about power outages, prompting the city of Dublin to file a complaint against AEP with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last year.

"This has the highest level of AEP management attention," regulatory and finance vice president Selwyn Dias told Dublin City Council during a meeting last week.

According to Dias, AEP plans to spend $10-million fixing underground electric cable and other equipment in Muirfield as well as $4-million for the local substation.

Muirfield project leader Jon Olenski said the process of injecting a fluid into underground electric cable, extending its lifetime, should be completed in February.

About 12 miles of underground cable is being replaced, Olenski said, and 5.5 miles remain. AEP plans to have this part of the project finished by the Memorial Tournament in June.

As the main line cable is reaching its 30-year life expectancy, AEP has finished replacing four of the 10 miles planned for project, with a goal of completion by August.

Other equipment AEP plans to replace -- six switchgears -- should "minimize the number of people affected in an outage," Olenski said. AEP has replaced one of the six switchgears so far.

The station feeder cable replacement, which will replace a 30-year-old cable and add a backup feed, should be finished by August.

Olenski said the work is complex because the lines are underground. He advised that power outages will occur during this process, although only one outage has been reported for January.

Mayor Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher said she was concerned with the effects of power outages on residents, especially with recent winter temperatures.

"This is the result of no ongoing maintenance program," she said. "My concern is people who are being impacted by the power outages."

Council members mentioned residents have lost food, business from working at home and even an aquarium of rare fish in power outages.

"We appreciate that AEP is now making this incredible investment, but you need to understand the incredible impact this is having," Chinnici-Zuercher said.

Councilman John Reiner was concerned AEP is solving Muirfield's power outage problem with a Band-Aid.

"How enduring are the repairs going to be?" he asked.

Olenski said the injection being made to most underground cable should give it 40 more years.

"I'm very confident this is the correct course of action," he said.

AEP also is adding conduits to the outside of the cables, which should reduce the amount of outages in the future, he said.

"The conduit will add to the life of the cable," Olenski said.

While AEP reported 32 outages in 2008, Reiner asked how many outages there will be once the work is completed.

Olenski said there will be outages in the future, but fewer.

"We're very confident the amount of outages will decline. That's out commitment," Dias told council. "If you all don't see a reduction of outages that's our fault and we will step up and take responsibility."

With many of Dublin's electrical lines underground like those in Muirfield Village, Reiner asked if this problem will be seen in other parts of the city.

"We do not foresee any problems elsewhere in Dublin," Dias said. "There's been no indication this is a pervasive problem that will spread."

Olenski said AEP will continue to keep Dublin and Muirfield Village up to date on the project. An aerial map that shows progress of the project can be found online at