Virginia Electric and Power (Dominion Energy Virginia) on March 22 filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) a motion for expedited consideration of a stipulated settlement regarding the company’s Haymarket 230-kV Double-Circuit Transmission Line and 230-34.5-kV Haymarket Substation project.
The company noted that the Coalition to Protect Prince William County (Coalition) and Somerset Crossing Homeowners Association (Somerset) have agreed to the motion. SCC staff has seen the motion and has represented to the company that it does not oppose the motion. The company also said that FST Properties, LLC and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative have seen the stipulation and have represented to the company that they do not oppose the stipulation.
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 a Jan. 23 ruling by a hearing examiner, in a Dec. 6, 2017, SCC order, the SCC 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 and 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 a 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 a motion for extension.
In support of that Jan. 19 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.
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 stipulated settlement filed on March 22, legislation in the form of enrolled bill SB 966 was signed into law by the governor on March 9, that establishes a pilot program providing for the underground construction of two electrical transmission lines, one of which applies to the I-66 Hybrid Alternative Route that has been considered in the proceeding. The pilot program, which runs from line 1383 to line 1470, is effective July 1. Under the legislation, the stipulated settlement added, after a determination of need by the SCC, the SCC is to approve, as a qualifying project, the 230-kV double-circuit transmission line to be built along the I-66 Hybrid Alternative Route, in part above ground and in part underground, and is to approve such underground construction within 30 days receipt of the written request of the company to participate in the pilot program.
The Coalition and Somerset agree not to object to the company’s claim of need for the project in order for the company to file the written request.
The stipulated settlement further noted that the company, the Coalition, and Somerset – collectively referred to as the stipulating participants – recommend that the hearing examiner issue a report recommending approval of the stipulation, that the SCC issue an order approving the stipulation, and that the company make the written request.
Discussing the stipulated route, the stipulated settlement said that the I-66 Hybrid Alternative Route is a new 5.1-mile, 230-kV double-circuit transmission line between the Haymarket Junction and the proposed Haymarket substation. The I-66 Hybrid Alternative Route originates at the proposed tie-in location on the converted 230-kV Line #124 near the end of Cushing Road, and extends for about 5.1 miles through Prince William County, Va., and the Town of Haymarket, terminating at the proposed Haymarket substation.
In addition to providing an opportunity to maximize colocation, the I-66 Hybrid Alternative Route was developed to avoid the potential for visual resource impact – viewpoint along I-66 – during and after construction. The stipulated settlement also said that the hybrid route would utilize overhead and underground transmission facilities.
From the tie-in location, the route follows the northern side of I-66 for about 2.1 miles until after it crosses Lee Highway (U.S. 29) and various I-66 on/off ramps. The route then crosses I-66, where it reaches the transition station, where an overhead to underground transition would occur, the stipulated settlement added. The transition station is proposed to be located on the southwest side of the intersection of I-66 and Lee Highway. At that point, the I-66 Hybrid Alternative Route – underground segment – heads northwest and continues along the southern side of I-66 for 0.7 mile, crossing Catharpin Road (SR 676), the stipulated settlement added.
After crossing Catharpin Road, the route continues northwest, crossing I-66, for about 1.2 miles following the northern side of I-66. The route crosses I-66 and then follows the southern side of I-66 and associated eastbound on-ramp for about 0.4 mile, the stipulated settlement added.
After crossing James Madison Highway (U.S. 15), the route continues underground and follows the southern side of I-66 and associated eastbound off-ramp for about 0.3 mile. At that point, the stipulated settlement added, there are two possible underground alignments. Variation 1 continues along the southern side of I-66 for less than an additional 0.1 mile before turning southwest for about 0.3 mile and extending along the parcel boundary between the proposed expansion of the Market Center at Haymarket and the James Madison Marketplace, crossing John Marshall Highway (SR 55), and terminating at the proposed Haymarket substation.
Variation 2, the stipulated settlement added, heads southwest along the western edge of the existing Walmart parking lot, follows the northern side of John Marshall Highway, and crosses the highway for the remaining 0.3 mile of the route, terminating at the proposed Haymarket substation.
As additional stipulated conditions related to the construction of the project, the company is to, for instance, implement a communications plan that includes a pre-construction open house.
The stipulated settlement also said that after the SCC has affirmed the need for the project through an order, the company will file the written request to participate in the pilot program on July 2, or an earlier time allowed by the SCC, whichever comes first, and will ask the SCC to approve the project under the pilot program and issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the stipulated route, subject to final engineering, and with approval to make minor adjustments to the route, as required by the Virginia Department of Transportation and as appropriate.