On 12/6/17 SCC Commissioners ordered further proceedings to receive evidence and legal analysis to address the need for the proposed Haymarket transmission line project.
See both the Coalition press release and SCC order below. Latest news articles in Headlines News to the right.
Coalition Press Release – 12/6/17
Dominion’s Regulator and Coalition Agree; Powerline Need Unproven
Executive director says: “This is historic – SCC tells Dominion ‘try again’ with application.”
Haymarket, Virginia (December 6, 2017) – The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) highest ranking officials took the historic step of sending Dominion Energy’s (Dominion) application for the Haymarket transmission line back the SCC Hearing Examiner.
Coalition executive director Elena Schlossberg stated, “This move by the SCC commissioners is virtually unprecedented – possibly the first time ever that Dominion has been told ‘try again’ by its most senior regulators.” The SCC ordered its Hearing Examiner to conduct additional proceedings to address arguments by the Coalition and Somerset Crossing that Dominion failed to prove the powerline’s need.
Schlossberg continued, “Coalition allies and citizens who have been engaged in this fight for years already know what the SCC commissioners may be starting to realize: Dominion’s proposal was deficient in proving the need for the powerline in the first place; Dominion’s story has shifted at various stages in this process; and Dominion’s attorneys found that story materially undercut by attorneys representing Dominion’s end-customer: Amazon.”
“We are in the middle of what I can only describe as a sea change,” Schlossberg added, “The SCC will be getting at least one and maybe two new commissioners in the new year; 13 new incoming members of the House of Delegates refused to take contributions from Dominion at all; and bills aimed at providing more transparency, which would have died in committee in recent years, are now getting public, bipartisan support. Dominion may be a utility monopoly – but its political monopoly is fading, fast.”
Schlossberg praised the community for staying the course. “I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – our community has always said there are two acceptable outcomes. One, since Amazon said on the record it’s not even sure it needs the extra power, the SCC should reject Dominion’s argument for the project’s need at all. Two, if they truly need the project, Amazon should pay for their own private extension cord like any other customer, and it should be buried along I-66. The arguments advanced by the Coalition and our allies won support from the SCC staff, and are finally being taken seriously by the SCC commissioners.” The Coalition’s refutation of Dominion’s need argument can be found here (www.protectpwc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Coalitions-Public-Reply-to-Dominions-Response-to-Motion-for-Rehearing-092217.pdf).
Schlossberg concluded, “This grassroots effort has pitted ordinary citizens with extraordinary tenacity against two massive corporations with blank checks and – literally – the richest man in the world. The Coalition and our allies have done more than anyone could have imagined, and forced Dominion to take steps and answer for its actions like never before. We have done that by partnering with a broad base of groups …. state and local elected officials, businesses, community organizations and HOAs. And countless individuals who have donated their time, talent, and – in some cases – treasure to keep Amazon’s private extension cord from being strung over their heads.”
“This fight is not over, and you will hear more from us in the coming days. But for now – if only for a moment – citizens and allies should be proud of what we have done together.”
SCC Order Remanding for Further Proceedings – 12/6/17
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION
AT RICHMOND, DECEMBER 6, 2017
VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER COMPANY CASE NO. PUE-2015-00107
For approval and certification of electric transmission
facilities: Haymarket 230 kV Double Circuit Transmission
Line and 230-34.5 kV Haymarket Substation
ORDER REMANDING FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
On July 14, 2017, the State Corporation Commission (“Commission”) issued an Order Granting Reconsideration in this matter in response to separate requests for rehearing or reconsideration filed by the Coalition to Protect Prince William County (“Coalition”) and Somerset Crossing Homeowners Association (“Somerset”), for the purpose of continuing jurisdiction over this matter and considering the above-referenced requests.
On July 24, 2017, Virginia Electric and Power Company (“Company” or “Dominion”) filed a Motion to Hold Proceeding in Abeyance for 60 Days and for Expedited Consideration that, among other things, requested 60 days to coordinate with Prince William County, and then to file a report (“Report”) with the Commission, regarding the constructability of the Carver Road Route.
On July 25, 2017, the Commission issued its Order on Requested Abeyance. In its Order on Requested Abeyance, the Commission directed that: (1) on or before August 16, 2017, the Applicant, Dominion, shall file a response to the issues raised in the above-referenced requests for rehearing or reconsideration; (2) on or before September 8, 2017, the Coalition and Somerset may separately file a reply to the Applicant’s response; and (3) on or before September 22, 2017, Dominion shall file its Report with the Commission as referenced in the Motion to Hold Proceeding in Abeyance for 60 Days and for Expedited Reconsideration. (The reply deadline was extended to September 22, 2017, by the Commission’s September 5, 2017 Order.)
On August 16, 2017, Dominion filed its Response to Petitions for Rehearing or Reconsideration as directed by the Commission. On September 22, 2017, Dominion filed its Report and the Coalition and Somerset each filed their reply.
In the pleadings, the parties seek to introduce new information regarding the need for the proposed project in this proceeding. Dominion’s Report also contains new information on additional variations to the routes proposed in the record.
NOW THE COMMISSION, upon consideration of this matter, is of the opinion and finds that this case shall be remanded for further proceedings. The Hearing Examiner shall conduct additional proceedings to receive evidence and legal analysis regarding: (1) new information as proffered by the parties that the Hearing Examiner finds relevant to the issue of the need for the proposed project; and (2) Dominion’s additional variations to the routes proposed in the record. The Hearing Examiner shall thereafter file a report describing the proceedings that occurred on remand.
In the April 6, 2017 Interim Order, the Commission found, based on the record in this case, that the proposed project is needed. The Hearing Examiner’s Report on Remand shall recommend whether the Commission should continue to find that this project is needed.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT this case is remanded for further proceedings as directed herein.
AN ATTESTED COPY hereof shall be sent by the Clerk of the Commission to all persons on the official Service List in this matter. The Service List is available from the Clerk of the Commission c/o Document Control 1300 East Main Street, First Floor, Tyler Building, Richmond, Virginia.
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