Virginia SCC allows Dominion Energy Virginia to extend in-service date of 230-kV project

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), in an Aug. 9 order, granted a motion filed by Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia in which the company requested to extend the in-service date of a 230-kV transmission project.

As noted in the order, the company in March 2014 filed with the SCC an application and supporting documents for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a Remington CT-Warrenton 230-kV double circuit transmission line, Vint Hill-Wheeler and Wheeler-Loudoun 230-kV transmission lines, 230-kV Vint Hill switching station, and 230-kV Wheeler switching station.

The SCC said that in February 2016, it entered a final order authorizing Dominion to build and operate the projects and granting certificates of public convenience and necessity for the projects.

That order stated that the line and associated substation work was to be built and in service by July 1, 2017, but that the company was granted leave to apply for an extension for good cause shown.

The SCC added in its Aug. 9 order that the company on June 12 filed a motion stating that “[d]ue to unforeseen changes in zoning and local approval requirements and outage constraints, combined with the necessary construction and energizing sequencing, the company will not be able to complete the project by the deadline of July 1, 2017.”

The company requested that the deadline provided in the final order be extended to Dec. 31, 2018, and said that it notified the parties to the case of its intent to seek an extension. The Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority responded that it does not oppose the motion, and the company did not receive responses from the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors, Fauquier County Public Schools, Piedmont Environmental Council, Brookside Development, or the staff, the SCC added.

SCC staff on June 30 filed a response, asserting that the company’s motion lacks specificity for the SCC to evaluate whether no party or person is prejudiced and whether good cause exists to grant the extension. The SCC also said that staff asserted that Dominion should have notified the SCC as soon as delays to construction of the projects became apparent.

The company, in its reply filed on July 17, asserted that the staff’s position on the company’s motion is “contrary to commission precedent and staff’s and the company’s established pattern and practice, and therefore should be rejected[.]”

The SCC added that the company asserted that “[t]he uncontroverted evidence in the case established that it would take approximately twenty-eight months to construct” the projects.

Dominion asserted that based on that estimated construction schedule, the in-service date for the projects should have been set for around August 2018, not July 2017, the SCC said.

Dominion also asserted that it was aware of that timing concern when the final order was issued but thought it would be prudent to focus its immediate attention on implementing the projects and to address the timing concerns at a later date, the SCC said.

The SCC said that while the motion should be granted, it notes “that if a company is aware at the time the commission issues a final order that a project cannot be completed by the in-service date set forth in such commission order, the preferred time to request a change of the in-service date is when the final order is issued.”

The SCC said that the final order is revised to read that the line and associated substation work is to be built and in service by Dec. 31, 2018; however, the company is granted leave to apply for an extension for good cause shown.

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.