Potomac Local: Dominion backs overhead route for Haymarket power line

From Potomac Local – Dominion backs overhead route for Haymarket power line

Dominion Virginia Power will petition Virginia’s State Corporation Commission to build an overhead power line in Haymarket.

The power line would run from the intersection of Prince William Parkway (Route 234 Bypass) and Interstate 66, down I-66 west to Haymarket. The controversial powerline would impact those living in the Haymarket area, and homeowners said the overhead line would lower property values and create an eyesore for the neighborhood.

Politicians, the activist group Coalition to Protect Prince William County, and residents over the summer argued for a hybrid routefs that would have placed a portion of the 230-kilovolt transmission line underground, and a portion overhead.

Dominion says overhead power lines are more efficient, have a longer, life, are easier to build and maintain. By building the power line along I-66, the utility plans to take advantage of shared right-of-way with I-66 and to “maximize existing infrastructure.”

Dominion reviewed several alternatives published on its project site but said the overhead plan provides the shortest and most direct route to a newly proposed Haymarket substation.

Dominion says the power line is needed to meet growing electricity demand in Northern Virginia. Senator Richard “Dick” Black and published news reports state the new power line will serve a new Amazon data center to be built in Prince William County.

Dominion held a series of public hearings about the proposed power line earlier this year. The utility will file their proposal with the State Corporation Commission tomorrow. It could take up to 18 months before a final decision is made on where and how to build the power line.

Here’s more from the Dominion press release:

After receiving extensive feedback from the community, VDOT and VRE, we have made some slight tweaks to the I-66 overhead route from what was shown at the July Open House to address potential pinch points between Dominion, VDOT and VRE. The route now parallels the north side of I-66 for the first three miles instead of running along the south side where the alignment was previously.

Regarding Alternatives in our SCC application:
· As previously presented in our July Open House, the I-66 Overhead/Underground “Hybrid” Route, Railroad Route, Carver Route and Madison Route are presented in the application as alternatives.
· We clearly note that the New Road Route, Northern Alternative and Wheeler Route are rejected options.
· Further details can be found in the application and the routing study once the application is filed and made public.
· We will post the filing to the project page on dom.com

Regarding SCC process:
· Once we file, the next steps are:
1. SCC creates a public electronic docket on the case that will be available on its website for Case No. PUE-2015-00107 (we will link to the docket as well from dom.com)
2. SCC will assign a Hearing Examiner to precede over the case
3. It typically takes about three weeks or so from the time of filing for the Commission to issue an order setting out the procedural schedule, which includes when the public comment period opens and closes, any public hearing dates and locations, when interested parties can formally join the case, when SCC Staff and Dominion testimony is due, and when the Evidentiary Hearing will be held.
4. The entire process could take up to, on average, 18 months for a decision to be rendered by the Commission.

· We cannot thank the many people – residents, public officials, community leaders – enough for their valued input.