Dominion Virginia Power seeks approval for 115-kV rebuild project in Virginia

Virginia Electric and Power (Dominion Virginia Power), in a Feb. 29 application filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, sought approval to rebuild an approximately 2.2-mile segment of the existing single circuit 115-kV Harmony Village–Northern Neck Line #65.

That includes an approximately 0.3-mile on land entirely within the existing right of way (ROW) on both sides of the Rappahannock River in Lancaster County – less than 0.1 mile – and Middlesex County – about 0.3 mile; and an approximately 1.9-mile section of Line #65 in the Rappahannock River using an 80-foot ROW permitted by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, which expands to 200 feet at two sections in the center span of the Robert O. Norris Bridge to accommodate the fender system in the navigational channel of the river. Collectively, the company added, that approximately 2.2-mile segment of Line #65 between the White Stone substation and Harmony Village substation in Lancaster and Middlesex counties is the proposed rebuild project.

There is an immediate and current need for the project to assure that the company can continue to provide reliable electric transmission service consistent with the company’s obligation under Virginia law to serve retail electric customers in its exclusive service territory.

Further discussing the need for the project, the company said that Line #65 is part of its 230-kV and 115-kV network and supports the network in the Northern Neck area. The load for the area grew from 439 MW to 466 MW, an increase of 6.2% from 2005 to 2015, the company said, adding that from 2016 to 2025, peak electrical demand for that area is projected to grow from 489 MW to 551 MW, an increase of 12.7%.

The project is necessary to replace aging infrastructure at the end of its service life with infrastructure built to today’s standards, as well as remove impediments that are presently degrading the integrity of entire Line #65, Dominion Virginia Power said.

Presuming, for instance, SCC authorization by Nov. 1, 2016, the company said it anticipates that the project could be in service by December 2017.

The estimated total cost of the proposed project, which assumes completion by December 2017, is about $26.2m (2016 dollars). The company also noted that that includes the cost to relocate an existing approximately 0.2-mile distribution line on the Middlesex County side of the project, which is currently underbuilt on three transmission structures. The company said that it plans to relocate that distribution line as part of the rebuild project, adding that there is no station work associated with the project.

For the land portion of the project, the company said that it proposes to replace structures along an existing ROW for about 0.3 mile combined in Lancaster and Middlesex counties. On the Lancaster County (north) side of the Rappahannock River, one existing wooden three-pole structure will be removed and replaced by a galvanized steel three-pole structure. The company also said that on the Middlesex County (south) side of the river, one existing wooden monopole structure will be eliminated entirely and three existing monopoles will be removed and replaced with one double deadend galvanized steel monopole and two weathering steel monopoles.

For the approximately 1.9-mile water crossing portion of the project, the company said that it proposes to remove seven wooden H-frame structures in the water and 14 davit arm style structures currently attached to the Norris Bridge, which were installed in 1962. The project will replace those 21 water-crossing structures with a total of 10 galvanized steel H-frame structures in the water, thereby adding a total of three structures in the water and eliminating all 14 bridge attachments.

The centerline of the proposed H-frame structures will be located about 100 feet east of the Norris Bridge. The company also noted that a fender system will be installed in front of the two structures on either side of and parallel to the navigational channel for protection of the structures against boating traffic.

Among other things, the company said that it has identified a proposed route – the proposed 115-kV overhead route – a 230-kV alternative – the 230-kV overhead alternative – and an underground option for the SCC’s consideration. Dominion Virginia Power said that while it does not support approval of the underground option, in the interest of avoiding further delay to the project, it does not oppose the SCC directing that the underground option, along with the overhead route and overhead alternative, be set forth for public, landowner and public officials’ notice.

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

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3270 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 16 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