Comments due by May 6 on Dominion Virginia Power’s petition involving three proposed projects

Comments are due by May 6 on Virginia Electric and Power’s (Dominion Virginia Power) March 15 petition for a declaratory judgment from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) determining whether the company is required to obtain certificates of public convenience and necessity (CPCNs) for three planned electric transmission line projects, the SCC said on March 23.

The company describes the projects as such, the SCC said in its order for notice and comment:

Line #541 Project – Fauquier County
This project, which does not require any new right of way (ROW), is an existing single circuit 500-kV electric transmission line. To address a National Electric Safety Code clearance issue, the project would replace one “COR-TEN” angle tower, about 147 feet in height, with two galvanized steel H-Frame structures, about 122 feet and 152 feet in height, the SCC added. The existing conductor would be reused. The project would cross wetlands at Remington Junction, about three-quarters of a mile southwest of the company’s existing Remington substation. The SCC also said that the company estimates that the total cost for the structure replacement is about $1.5m, and it is scheduled to be completed by May 31, 2017.

VDOT Relocation Project 1 – City of Norfolk

Dominion’s Lines #2038 and #135 are existing single circuit 230-kV and 115-kV, respectively, electric transmission lines jointly located on double circuit structures. To accommodate the expansion of an Interstate 264 ramp by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the project would replace and relocate four double circuit structures for Lines #2038 and #135. Four existing painted double circuit engineered steel poles, ranging between about 105 feet to 125 feet in height, would be replaced with four double circuit galvanized steel poles, ranging between about 100 feet to 165 feet in height. The existing conductors would be reused, the SCC added. The project, which does not require any new ROW, is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, 2017. The company estimates that the total cost for the relocation, which would be funded by VDOT, is about $2.6m.

VDOT Relocation Project 2 – City of Virginia Beach

Dominion’s Lines #2019 and #245 are existing single circuit 230-kV electric transmission lines jointly located on double circuit structures. To accommodate the expansion of another Interstate 264 ramp by VDOT, the project would replace six double circuit structures for Lines #2019 and #245 with four relocated double circuit structures. Six existing painted double circuit engineered steel and concrete poles, ranging between about 95 feet to 117 feet in height, would be replaced with four double circuit galvanized steel poles, ranging between about 105 feet to 165 feet in height. The SCC also said that the existing conductors would be reused. The project, which does not require any new ROW, is scheduled to be completed by Feb. 1, 2021. The company estimates that the total cost for the relocation, which would be funded by VDOT, is about $2.9m.

In its petition, the company said that it “seeks a declaration that all or certain of these three future transmission projects (collectively, the ‘projects’) do not require … a CPCN from the commission because they qualify as ‘ordinary extensions or improvements in the usual course of business’ under” Virginia Code.

Noting that it sought advice from SCC staff regarding whether the Line #541 Project and the VDOT Relocation Project 1 would qualify as ordinary extensions or improvements, the company said that staff indicated that because those two projects involved construction of lines that are above 138-kV capacity, they did require additional SCC approval, despite their limited impacts, particularly relative to the existing facilities. The company said that it believes that the projects described in the petition are ordinary course improvements and, therefore, do not require certification from the SCC. All of the facilities in question have a CPCN issued by the SCC and were subject to approval, the company said.

The SCC’s decision in the proceeding will determine whether the company, the SCC and staff will need to devote the time, resources and expense to file, analyze and adjudicate applications for new or amended CPCNs for the projects; and would resolve any potential claims that a CPCN was required for the work if it is undertaken without obtaining further approval from the SCC, the company said.

Historically, the company has completed these types of projects without additional SCC approval because they represent ordinary improvements in the usual course of business, along existing transmission line corridors that have already received an SCC-approved CPCN. The company added that a requirement to seek additional approval from the SCC now on all ordinary structure replacements above 138-kV voltage would be inefficient for the company’s and the SCC’s resources going forward.

The company is to file a reply to any comments on the petition by May 13, the SCC said in its order.

Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion Resources (NYSE:D).

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 Articles
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 clinares@endeavorb2b.com.