Dominion seeks declaratory judgment in relation to ‘Loop Projects’ in Virginia

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC), in May 26 comments filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), said that it supports Virginia Electric and Power’s (Dominion) request for expedited consideration and approval of Dominion’s petition for the Triton Loop-Prince William County Project.

As noted in Dominion’s April 27 petition for declaratory judgment and for expedited consideration, the company is planning for, among future transmission projects, the construction of a new 230-kV double circuit loop of existing Lines #2137 and #2149 into and out of a future distribution substation in Loudoun County, Va., which involves the relocation of one structure and the installation of three new structures (Roundtable Loop), and the construction of a 230-kV single circuit loop of existing transmission Line #2114 into and out of a future switching station in Prince William County’s Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District in Virginia, which involves the installation of six new structures (Triton Loop).

With its petition, the company said that it seeks a declaration that both or either of those transmission loop projects – collectively referred to as the Loop Projects – do not require approval under Va. Code § 56-46.1B or a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) from the SCC because they qualify as “ordinary extensions or improvements in the usual course of business” under Va. Code § 56-265.2 A.1 (at times referred to in the order as the “usual course exception”).

Dominion noted that it sought advice from SCC staff regarding whether the Loop Projects would qualify as ordinary extensions or improvements in the usual course of business. According to staff, solely because the Loop Projects involve the acquisition of land easement through new rights of way (ROWs), even though the new easements are from the requesting customers and only impact the requesting customers, they require SCC approval.

The company added that it believes that the Loop Projects are ordinary extensions or improvements in the usual course of business under Va. Code § 56-265.2 and, therefore, do not require SCC approval.

Dominion said that it has a need to undertake the Loop Projects at the request of customers in Loudoun and Prince William counties.

The Roundtable Loop is being undertaken to support a future distribution substation needed to adequately serve the load of data center growth in the area, including a Dominion customer (referred to as the Roundtable Customer) in the process of building new data centers at the project site, Dominion said.

The Roundtable Customer’s new data centers are being built across the street from an existing network of data center campuses located on hundreds of acres of property in an area focused on commercial development in Loudoun County, Dominion said.

The Roundtable Loop would involve the installation of one new double circuit steel pole within the existing transmission corridor containing 230-kV double circuit transmission Lines #2149 and #2137, and transferring the conductor/shield wire to the proposed pole, the company said.

Two spans of double circuit three-phase conductor – about 760 feet – and two shield wires would be installed from the proposed pole in the existing ROW to a new double circuit steel pole and backbone inside the future distribution substation fence to loop the lines into the substation, the company said.

The Roundtable Loop also involves the relocation of one existing double circuit steel pole to a new location within the future distribution substation fence, the company said, noting that that structure would be replaced in the existing ROW with a new double circuit steel pole with a revised orientation on the existing foundation. Two spans of double circuit three-phase conductor – about 640 feet – and two shield wires would be installed from the proposed pole in the existing ROW to a new double circuit steel pole and backbone inside the future distribution substation to loop the lines out of the proposed substation, the company said.

As proposed, the Roundtable Loop would be located entirely on the Roundtable Customer’s property in Loudoun County within Dominion’s service territory, and that includes an approximately 390-foot-long, 160-foot-wide new ROW easement, which is required for the line, the company said. The new ROW easement would abut the existing transmission line ROW and the future distribution substation site, and would be secured from the customer with need for condemnation, Dominion said.

Dominion said that it estimates that the total cost of that installation is about $21m – consisting of about $3m for the transmission line loop and about $18m for the substation. The company noted that the proposed completion date for the Roundtable Loop is Sept. 1, 2018.

The Triton Loop is being undertaken to support a proposed switching station, which would serve a proposed NOVEC delivery point (DP) used to feed a NOVEC customer’s (referred to as the Triton Customer) data center campus at the project site in NOVEC’s service territory, Dominion said.

The Triton Loop would involve the installation of two single circuit 230-kV three-pole structures within the existing ROW, two proposed single circuit 230-kV steel H-frame structures at the edge of, and within, the existing ROW, and two proposed double circuit 230-kV steel poles along new ROW that would be conveyed by the Triton Customer. Dominion added that double circuit three-phase conductor – about 1,669 feet long – and related shield wires would be installed to loop the lines into and out of the future switching station.

The proposed transmission line loop is about 0.31 mile, with about 0.26 mile – about 1,368 feet – of new ROW of varying width required, the company said. About 235 feet of new ROW of varying width on the Triton Customer’s property would be necessary between the proposed single circuit 230-kV steel H-frame structure at the edge of, and within, the existing ROW and the first new double circuit 230-kV steel pole structure, the company said. Also, about 1,133 feet of new 120-foot-wide ROW on the Triton Customer’s property would be necessary between the first new double circuit 230-kV steel pole structure and the future switching station property.

As proposed, the Triton Loop would be entirely located on the Triton Customer’s property, Dominion added, noting that the Triton Customer would convey the property for the proposed switching station in fee or by way of perpetual easement without the need for condemnation.

The Triton Customer would also convey the entire easement for the spans into and out of the switching station without the need for condemnation, the company said. The future switching station site, new ROW easement, and existing transmission line ROW would abut one another, and no other ROW from other landowners would be needed for the Triton Loop, the company said.

Dominion estimates that the total cost of that installation is about $10m – consisting of about $3m for the transmission line loop and about $7m for the future switching station. The company also said that the proposed completion date for the Triton Loop is Sept. 1, 2018.

The SCC in a May 3 order said that its staff and any interested party is to file by May 31 comments on Dominion’s petition, and that Dominion is to file a reply to any comments by June 7.

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.