Virginia SCC schedules public hearing in April for Dominion Virginia Power’s proposed rebuild project

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), in a Jan. 30 order, said that a local public hearing will be held on April 3 in Falls Church, Va., to receive testimony from public witnesses on Virginia Electric and Power’s (Dominion Virginia Power) application for approval and for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build and operate electric transmission facilities in Fairfax County, Va.

The SCC noted that the company, in its application filed on Jan. 12, proposed to rebuild, relocate and replace a number of facilities and lines in and around the company’s existing Idylwood substation in Falls Church. The company proposes to shift the existing station footprint within company-owned property in order to rebuild and rearrange the Idylwood station from a straight bus arrangement to a breaker-and-a-half arrangement using Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) bus and breakers.

The SCC added that as part of, and in connection with, the rebuild project, the company proposes to:

  • Relocate these overhead lines: Clark-Idylwood Line #202; Braddock-Idylwood Line #207; Glen Carlyn-Idylwood Line #251; Clifton-Glen Carlyn Line #266; CIA-Idylwood Line #2035; and Ox-Idylwood Line #2097
  • Rearrange, rename and renumber Line #266, which currently bypasses the Idylwood station, to terminate at the station by splitting existing Line #266 into Idylwood-Glen Carlyn Line #266 and renaming and renumbering Clifton-Idylwood Line #2164
  • Remove nine existing structures on the Idylwood station property and install 12 structures and conductors with new materials inside the station
  • Remove four existing structures and install five structures on company-owned property outside of the Idylwood station
  • Temporarily relocate an existing cellular antenna and equipment to a structure across Shreve Road from the Idylwood station, then at a future point, permanently locate the cellular antenna and equipment on one of the new structures on company-owned property adjacent to the station
  • Replace and relocate three distribution transformers, relocate 12 distribution circuits, and relocate distribution air insulated bus with new distribution GIS equipment
  • Install temporary 230-kV bus facilities to enable the Idylwood station to remain electrified and in service during the rebuild project

The SCC said that for proposed construction that would occur outside of the station fence, the company proposes to replace four existing structures ranging in height from 85 feet to 150 feet with five new structures ranging in height from 105 feet to 140 feet. The relevant lengths of the transmission lines with relocated structures inside or outside of the station range from 0.02 miles to 0.11 miles, the SCC said.

In its application, the company requested that the SCC schedule a local hearing in Fairfax County to receive comments on the application from public witnesses, and provide the company an opportunity to file a written response through rebuttal testimony or otherwise.

The company said that the rebuild project is necessary to ensure that the company can continue to provide reliable electric service to its customers served by the Idylwood substation and the 230-kV network in the region, consistent with mandatory NERC reliability standards for transmission facilities, the company said.

As part of PJM Interconnection’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP) annual transmission planning process in 2011, the PJM Generation Deliverability analysis identified several network violations projected to occur beginning in 2016, including a generator deliverability violation. Dominion Virginia Power added that an outage on the Idylwood-CIA Line #2035, among other lines in the vicinity, would overload the Idylwood 230-kV bus.

The rebuild project was initially submitted to the PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee (TEAC) in June 2011, and contained a proposed in-service target date of May 2016. The company added that PJM subsequently accelerated the required target in-service date to 2015, and the PJM Board approved the rebuild project at a 2011 meeting, authorizing it as a PJM baseline upgrade (b1969). For temporary relief, the company said that it has increased the capacity of the existing 230-kV bus and replaced the tie breaker until the rebuild project is in service. Primarily to accommodate permitting activities, the company said that the rebuild project’s in-service date has been changed to spring 2020.

Assuming an SCC order approving the rebuild project is issued by June 30, the project’s anticipated in-service date is May 31, 2020, and the project’s estimated cost is about $107m. The company also said that the estimated cost for station work is about $100.8m, and that the estimated cost for transmission line work is $6.2m (those estimates are in 2016 dollars).

The proposed rebuild project would afford the best means of meeting the continuing need for reliable service while reasonably minimizing adverse impact on the scenic, environmental and historic assets of the area, the company said. The rebuild project is located entirely within existing company-owned property and the right of way (ROW) adjacent to the Idlywood substation, the company said.

In its order, the SCC said that a public evidentiary hearing on the application is to be convened on May 10 in the commission’s second floor courtroom in Richmond, Va., to receive the testimony of public witnesses as well as the evidence of the company, any respondents and SCC staff.

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

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.