Virginia SCC hearing examiner recommends approval of Potomac Edison’s proposed rebuild project

A Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) hearing examiner, in a Jan. 5 report filed with the SCC, said that he finds that there is a need for Potomac Edison’s proposed rebuild of the Double Toll Gate-Riverton 138-kV Transmission Line in Clarke and Warren counties in Virginia.

Hearing Examiner Howard Anderson Jr., also said that he finds that the proposed rebuild project is justified by the public convenience and necessity, and that the project would reasonably minimize adverse impacts on the environment of the area concerned.

Anderson said, “I recommend the commission enter an order that” adopts the report’s findings, and grants the company’s July 2016 application seeking approval and certification for the transmission facilities in connection with the proposed rebuild project.

According to the company, it is proposing to rebuild the line, entirely within existing right of way (ROW), in order to maintain the reliability of its transmission system and to comply with mandatory NERC reliability standards, Anderson’s report said.

FirstEnergy’s (NYSE:FE) Potomac Edison described the project area as an existing transmission corridor located between the company’s existing Double Toll Gate substation in Clarke County and the Riverton substation in Warren County; about 6.3 out of the total 7.07 miles of the line would be rebuilt, with most of the existing structures along the route being replaced.

The report also noted that the PJM Interconnection 2012 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan process, including Potomac Edison’s own planning criteria and analysis, identified the need for the proposed rebuild project to relieve violations of mandatory NERC reliability standards by summer 2017 – beginning on June 1, 2017. The company noted that power flow studies conducted by it and PJM in 2012 for model year 2017 showed that by the summer of 2017, an outage of various 138-kV and 115-kV lines would result in an overload of the Double Toll Gate-Riverton 138-kV line.

Anderson also noted that according to the company, the estimated cost of the rebuild project is $6.1m, and that based on the required in-service date from PJM, the company would begin work this month.

SCC staff has concluded that the proposed rebuild project resolves all potential reliability violations, and that while it crosses at, or nears, some residences, scenic assets, historic districts, natural resources, and recreational areas, the use of existing ROW and replacement of structures with a similar kind and location should result in minimal or negligible incremental impact.

Among other things, Anderson added that staff does not oppose issuing the requested certificate of public convenience and necessity.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 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.