In light of proposed legislation, Virginia SCC hearing examiner extends hearing for transmission project

A Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) hearing examiner, in a Jan. 23 ruling, granted Virginia Electric and Power’s (Dominion Virginia Power) Jan. 19 motion, in which the company requested that a Feb. 8 public hearing regarding its proposed Haymarket 230-kV Double-Circuit Transmission Line and 230-34.5-kV Haymarket Substation project be extended.

As TransmissionHub reported, the SCC in a June 23, 2017, final order, said that it finds that the proposed project is needed; it approved construction and operation of the project along the “Carver Road Route.”

As noted in the Jan. 23 ruling, the SCC on Dec. 6, 2017, issued an order remanding the matter for further proceedings. In that order, the commission directed the hearing examiner to conduct additional proceedings to receive evidence and legal analysis regarding:

  • New information as proffered by the parties that the hearing examiner finds relevant to the issue of need for the proposed project
  • Dominion Energy Virginia’s additional variations to the route proposed in the record

As noted in the Dec. 6 order, the SCC, in a July 14, 2017, order, granted reconsideration in the matter in response to separate requests for rehearing or reconsideration filed by the Coalition to Protect Prince William County (Coalition) and Somerset Crossing Homeowners Association (Somerset) for the purpose of continuing jurisdiction over the matter.

According to the Jan. 23 ruling, a Dec. 13, 2017, hearing examiner’s ruling scheduled the public hearing on Feb. 8 to receive additional evidence on the proposed project, and established dates for the filing of testimony and exhibits by the company, SCC staff, the Coalition and Somerset. The Jan. 23 ruling added that the company on Jan. 5 filed testimony and exhibits in response to the Dec. 13 ruling, and on Jan. 19, the company filed its motion for extension.

In support of its motion, the company noted that House Bill (HB) No. 1202, which was introduced on Jan. 10 in the Virginia General Assembly, “could affect these proceedings on remand,” if enacted.

The Jan. 23 ruling added that the company, therefore, requested that the evidentiary hearing and the remaining procedural dates “be extended until after the General Assembly adjourns on March 10.”

The motion indicated that the Coalition and Somerset agree with the motion, and that SCC staff does not oppose the motion, according to the Jan. 23 ruling.

According to Virginia’s Legislative Information System website, HB 1202 establishes a pilot program consisting of the approval of the underground construction of two electrical transmission lines. As part of the pilot program, the SCC is directed to approve as a qualifying project a line that appears to track the “I-66 Hybrid Route” that has been considered for the Haymarket project in Prince William County, Va., according to the site.

According to the Jan. 23 ruling, the Feb. 8 hearing is to be retained for the purpose of receiving testimony from public witnesses. The evidentiary hearing is to begin on April 30 in the SCC’s courtroom in Richmond, Va.; the date for the filing of testimony and exhibits by staff, the Coalition, Somerset, and others is to be extended to March 27; and the date for the filing of rebuttal testimony and exhibits by the company is to be extended to April 11, the ruling said.

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.