Q: Is this that same battle as a few years ago?
A: Yes and no. While Dominion Power has attempted to run lines through the Western Prince William County countryside before, with routes overlapping some of the proposed routes in this project, the advertised reason was to increase reliability to the region as a whole. This proposal is specifically intended to provide a lot of power for a very specific customer. This is a new proposal to the SCC.
Q: Can I wait and see what happens?
A: Your involvement is needed now to protect our region from becoming a data center hub crisscrossed by transmission lines and additional substations.
Q: How big are the lines?
A: The proposal is for 230,000 kV lines, with towers 110 feet high and clear cutting of all trees 50-60 feet on either side of the line.
Q. Will this new line serve our community?
A: The Dominion application to the SCC says that service is requested by a retail electric service customer (the Customer). “The Customer” is referred to 80 times throughout the application. The “customer” is Amazon Web Services, which wants to build a data center campus on 44 acres across from the Walmart.
Q: What government body can stop or modify this plan by Dominion Power?
A: Mainly the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
Q: How can Dominion Power just do this?
A: We believe the State of Virginia has granted Dominion Power “Condemner” status, so they can exercise Eminent Domain. If the SCC allows the route then there is little anyone can do, except maybe PWC (see below).
Q: Does the county government have a say?
A: The county government can say whatever it likes, but it won’t necessarily stop the SCC from approving Dominion’s application.
Q: Why won’t they just bury these lines?
A: The usual argument is that is costs too much and it is not reliable. We feel that the old “it cost 10 times as much” argument is a gross overstatement of the real long term costs. In fact there are many places in Virginia where Dominion power is now burying these 230 kV lines.
Q: What is our best option to stop this from impacting homes, countryside?
A: Our best option to stop this is to mount significant opposition and show up at the SCC hearings, and for you to donate funds to the Coalition to cover costs for legal expertise to challenge the project in the SCC decision-making process. Sign up to get Coalition alerts. Attend the local hearings in February, March and May 2016. Go to the SCC hearing on May 10 in Richmond. Spread the word to your neighbors and colleagues. Post Coalition signs on your property. Donate. Get involved!
Q. So you are OK with some sort of power line on some route?
A: If the ultimate outcome is for approval of this project and Amazon proceeds with its plan, a line that does not impact homes and the countryside would be an acceptable compromise. 100% burial of any transmission line is preferred. The I-66 Hybrid alternative in the application is a mix of above and below ground along I-66.
Q. Where did this web site come from?
A. Some concerned citizens created and donated to the cause just after Thanksgiving 2014 when Dominion Power greatly expanded its list of alternative routes. It uses an inexpensive shared host and free web site software.
Q. Where can I submit comments and suggestions?
A. Make comments on our website Blog, on the top navigation, or email admin@protectPWC.org. Please advise if you think something is wrong, inaccurate, or misleading.
Submit comments to the SCC prior to June 17, 2016 in order for them to be part of the official record and consideration.
Submit your public commentary to the SCC for this case by visiting this SCC page at http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case/PublicComments.aspx and locating our case PUE-2015-00107 as shown below. Your comments will be officially logged as part of the public record for the case. (BE CAREFUL to select the PUE-2015-00107 case – not the 2016 case!)
Each one of you is a “somebody” in this County – a somebody who matters and makes a difference. Let’s put our pens where our mouths are, to fight for our families and for what we hold dear throughout our community.