Virginia regulatory staff ‘does not oppose’ approval of Dominion Energy Virginia’s proposed 230-kV project

Virginia State Corporation Commission staff, in a Sept. 21 report, concluded that Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia has reasonably demonstrated the need to build the Chesterfield-Lakeside Line #217 230-kV Transmission Line Rebuild project.

As noted in staff’s report, the company in May filed with the commission an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to:

  • Rebuild, entirely within an existing right of way (ROW), the existing approximately 21.3-mile, 230-kV transmission Line #217, which runs from the company’s Chesterfield substation in Chesterfield County to the company’s Lakeside substation in Henrico County
  • Remove or replace certain structures on Line #287, two of which are shared with Line #217 and are located at or near the Chesterfield Power Station property
  • Reconductor a section of Line #287 between the existing Chesterfield substation backbone and Structure #287/6
  • Complete minor equipment replacements at the Chesterfield, Charles City Road, Darbytown, Northeast, and Lakeside substations

The rebuild project is estimated to cost about $31.6m, and has an expected in-service date of June 1, 2020, staff said, adding that the company’s goal is to begin construction of the rebuild project in June 2019.

According to the company, the rebuild project is needed to resolve generation deliverability violations and to address Line #217 nearing its end of life. The company also said in its application that Line #217 is part of the company’s 230-kV network that supports the delivery of generation to retail and wholesale customers in the Central Virginia area, staff added. Further discussing the project’s need, staff said that according to the company, PJM Interconnection has identified, through Generation Deliverability and Common Mode Outage analysis, that without system reinforcement, contingencies exist under which Line #217 is projected to experience thermal overloads that would lead to violations of mandatory NERC reliability criteria.

Discussing the project’s proposed route, staff said the project originates in Chesterfield County at the Chesterfield substation, located at the Chesterfield Power Station off Coxendale Road. From that power station, the route generally heads northeast for 0.5 miles and continues northeast into Henrico County after crossing the James River. Staff added that the line continues in a northeasterly direction for about 5.6 miles, and then, for 2.4 miles, the line heads in a northwesterly direction before heading due north. The line continues in a north-northwesterly direction for 12.8 miles and terminates at the Lakeside substation in Henrico County.

Among other things, staff added that the proposed project utilizes existing ROW and appears to minimize impact on existing residences, scenic assets, historic districts, and the environment.
“The staff therefore does not oppose the company’s request that the commission issue the CPCN necessary for the proposed project,” staff said.

Staff recommended that the company reexamine its line maintenance programs to ensure that it utilizes, to the maximum extent possible, viable structures and other components that can be reused for future line upgrades, which, staff said, is especially important for any maintenance work on lines nearing end of life.

Staff also recommended that the commission direct the company to submit a semiannual report to staff that provides an overview of its transmission line maintenance activities completed over the previous six months, as well as transmission line maintenance activities planned during the next six months, and how those activities support any known future upgrades on those lines.

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.