Duke Energy will announce the proposed route for a 40-mile Foothills transmission line in the US in October this year, instead of the earlier deadline of January 2016.

The 230-kilovolt power line will run from Campobello, South Carolina, to Asheville, North Carolina. A series of potential line segments are being considered for minimizing environmental and community impacts.

It will link the western Carolinas region and Duke Energy’s new Asheville power plant to a substation planned to be constructed in Campobello.

The power line part of the company’s $1.1bn Western Carolinas modernization project under which a new natural gas power plant will be built by replacing Asheville coal facility.

The project will reduce emissions and water use and help meet the increasing power demand in the Western Carolinas.

Duke Energy Western North Carolina regional general manager Robert Sipes said: "We’ve been listening closely to potentially impacted communities and landowners along the study routes and have heard overwhelmingly from them the need to expedite the review process to reduce the period of uncertainty for selecting the final route.

"We’ve expanded our team, accelerated the schedule and are committing to complete our comprehensive process for route selection by early October."

Duke Energy’s regulated utility operations serve about 7.3 million electric customers situated in six states in the Southeast and Midwest.