Virginia SCC grants Dominion application for 230-kV transmission line

The Virginia State Corporation Commission granted, subject to certain requirements, Dominion Virginia Power’s application for approval and a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build and operate a proposed 230-kV relocation project.

As noted in the SCC’s final order, Dominion Virginia Power in May filed with the SCC its application for approval and for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to relocate an about0.5-mile section of the existing single-circuit 230-kV transmission line, Occoquan Substation—Ogden Martin Systems of Fairfax, Inc., Line #2042, located in Fairfax County, Va., near the Graham Quarry owned and operated by Vulcan Materials Company.

A wetland impact consultation provided by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) contained certain recommendations, including that prior to beginning project work, all wetlands and streams within the project corridor be field delineated and verified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A hearing examiner with the SCC in September filed a report, finding, for instance, that the relocation project is needed to support phased development of the Graham Quarry property into two water reservoirs for Fairfax Water. The hearing examiner recommended that the SCC issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the relocation project, subject to certain conditions, the SCC added.

“The record shows, and we hereby adopt, the hearing examiner’s finding that the relocation project is needed to support phased development of Quarry property into water reservoirs for Fairfax Water,” the SCC said.

The record demonstrates that the relocation project, which would be built using existing right of way (ROW) and new ROW, reasonably follows a route that makes use of existing ROW to the fullest extent practicable to serve the need identified in the proceeding, the SCC said.

The SCC also noted that it agrees with the hearing examiner that the proposed route will reasonably minimize adverse impact on the scenic assets and historic resources. Furthermore, the SCC said that there are no adverse environmental impacts that would prevent the construction or operation of the relocation project. The company has agreed to comply with the recommendations set forth in the DEQ’s wetlands impact consultation and the comments submitted by such entities as the state Department of Historic Resources, the SCC said.

Among other things, the SCC said that the relocation project must be built and in service by May 31, 2017, but the company is granted leave to apply for an extension for good cause shown.

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Corina Rivera-Linares, chief analyst for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 10 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at corinar@pennwell.com .

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