I am very pleased to report to you that Dominion Power has completed the first phase of its studies on various routes for the construction of the Haymarket 230 kV Transmission and Substation Project, and Dominion will recommend to the State Corporation (SCC) that three of the proposed route alternatives that have been studied should not be considered.
Those three route alternatives that Dominion Power has determined that the SCC should not consider are:
New Road Alternatives (shown in gray long dashes on the map);
Wheeler Alternatives (shown in gray short dashes on the map);
Northern Alternative (shown in gray dots on the map).
The hard work of Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Delegate Tim Hugo, Delegate Bob Marshall, Delegate David Ramadan, Senator Dick Black, Mayor David Leake, and my colleagues on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Supervisor Jeanine Lawson and Chairman Corey Stewart, have been a major part of the study by Dominion Power that has led to their current findings.
I also want to express my personal appreciation for the tireless and uncompromising efforts of The Coalition to Protect Prince William County, led by Elena Schlossberg and her leadership team, who rallied the community to demonstrate to Dominion Power that the three route alternatives that now have been eliminated from their recommendations to the SCC should not have received serious consideration from the outset.
While this is good news for many citizens, homeowners, and Homeowners Associations in the Gainesville District who would have been adversely impacted by these three route alternatives that Dominion Power will now recommend not to be considered by the SCC, there is considerable work that remains to be done. There are still several routing plans that Dominion is considering that are completely unacceptable, including the “Railroad Alternative.” We must hold firm in our commitment to support only the “Hybrid” option that buries the power lines along I-66.
Dominion Power will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, from 5 to 8 PM at Battlefield High School where they will present information on the routes that are currently under consideration, including:
- I-66 “Hybrid” Overhead/Underground Alternative (shown in a light blue on the map);
- I-66 Overhead Alternative (shown as a dark blue line on the map);
- Railroad Alternative (shown as a red line on the map);
- Carver Road Alternative (shown as a green line on the map);
- Madison Alternative (shown as an orange line on the map).
There is no question that community input has been and will continue to be an important part of the project planning and development by Dominion Power.
It is equally important that we continue our efforts to ensure that the SCC will not reopen the routing alternatives that have been found to be unacceptable to Dominion Power. Under the statute and regulations governing the selection of power line routes, the SCC has the authority to approve any final route alignment that it chooses, including the routes Dominion has asked not be considered.
A critical component of the planning by Dominion Power for the proposed electric transmission project that included the 230 kV transmission line and substation in Haymarket is predicated upon the projected power requirements for a new “high-tech sector business expansion proposed in the Western Prince William area which is projected to exceed the capabilities of Dominion’s current electric distribution system.”
Simply put, Dominion is talking about additional capacity required to address the forecasted increase in power demand for our area, which we all now know is driven primarily by a proposed data center being located just outside of the Haymarket town limits.
As I have researched this, I have found that this proposed data center seeks to fulfill the “commercial sector” requirements for the planned Midwood senior living community in that same area.
I have personally informed the development team for Midwood that I would vigorously oppose any land swap or other deal that involves using the owner of this proposed data center as a part of their development package to be submitted for approval by the Planning Commission and the Board of County Supervisors.
As a consequence of my communication that I would not support this project as proposed, the Midwood team has informed me that they have terminated all discussions or negotiations with the owners of this proposed data center.
I pledge that I will continue to forcefully defend the property rights of individual homeowners, of Homeowners Associations, and the rights each of us has to the natural beauty of our rural spaces as we move forward in communicating with the SCC and Dominion Power that the only routing alternative we could support is the I-66 “Hybrid” Overhead/Underground Alternative.
We must continue our efforts to protect our community and our quality of life.
Pete Candland, Supervisor
Gainesville Magisterial District