Dominion to seek approval in Virginia for Lexington – Cloverdale 500-kV rebuild

Dominion (NYSE:D) plans to seek approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) in May to rebuild its 7.4-mile portion of the 500-kV Lexington – Cloverdale line.

The line extends from Dominion’s Lexington substation southwest to a point near Loose Leaf Lane where the line interconnects with Appalachian Power Company (APCo), Dominion said on its website. The line continues southwest to APCo’s Cloverdale substation near Roanoke, Va.

Within the existing right-of-way corridor, Dominion said, it is proposing to replace the original towers with new, galvanized steel towers that will be slightly taller. The new towers will be closer in height to the adjacent, taller and narrower lattice towers, which hold two smaller lines. The new towers will support conductors with greater capacity, the company added, noting that the new structures will be located on the same center line and in close proximity to the current structure locations.

The existing Lexington – Cloverdale line, built in 1966, is nearing the end of its useful life, the company said, noting that the line is an important part of Dominion’s 500-kV extra high voltage network, which is the major transportation system providing electrical energy to its customers as well as a large portion of the eastern United States. The network’s purpose is to deliver bulk power from generation sources to the populated areas where most power is used.

“Our studies also show that the line needs to be upgraded by 2014 to avoid violations of the mandatory reliability standards established by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC),” Dominion said on its website.

According to the project’s timeline, Dominion would secure necessary local permits for construction in early 2013 and do community outreach and notification of intent to construct that spring. Construction is scheduled to begin in late spring 2013, subject to SCC approval, with the line placed in service in May 2014.

Appalachian Power is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).

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Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 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