Virginia regulatory staff “does not oppose” approval of Dominion’s proposed 230-kV rebuild project

Virginia State Corporation Commission staff, in an Oct. 26 report filed with the commission, concluded that Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Energy Virginia has reasonably demonstrated the need to build a proposed 230-kV rebuild project.

The rebuild project utilizes existing right of way (ROW) and appears to minimize impact on existing residences, scenic assets, historic districts, as well as the environment, staff said.

Therefore, staff does not oppose the company’s request that the commission issue the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) necessary for the rebuild project, staff said.

As noted in the report, Dominion Energy Virginia on June 25 filed with the commission an application for a CPCN to:

  • Rebuild, entirely within existing ROW or on company owned property, about 8.5 miles of the existing 230-kV, overhead, single-circuit transmission Line #231 on double-circuit structures
  • Replace 230-kV switches and perform minor conduit work at Landstown and Stumpy Lake substation
  • Perform minor conduit work at the Thrasher substation

Line #231 runs from the company’s existing Landstown substation in the City of Virginia Beach to the company’s existing Thrasher substation in the City of Chesapeake, staff said.

The company proposes to replace 44 230-kV, double-circuit, “COR-TEN” lattice towers and two 230-kV, double-circuit, galvanized steel poles with 46 230-kV, double-circuit galvanized steel poles.

The proposed route for the rebuild project originates at the company’s Thrasher substation in the City of Chesapeake and heads slightly northeast for about 4.5 miles, crossing Greenbrier Parkway, Kempsville Road, and Stumpy Lake Natural Area, staff added. The route then heads in a generally east, southeast direction for about four miles, crossing Salem Road, South Independence Boulevard, and Dam Neck Road before terminating at the company’s Landstown substation in the City of Virginia Beach. According to the company, since the existing Line #231 right of way (ROW) and company owned property are adequate to build the project, no new ROW is needed, staff added, noting that the existing Line #231 ROW is 120 feet wide.

According to the company, the rebuild project is needed to replace aging infrastructure that is at the end of its service life and to comply with the company’s mandatory transmission planning criteria, thereby enabling the company to maintain the overall long-term reliability of its transmission system.

Staff noted, for instance, that Line #231 is the only bulk power source to the company’s Stumpy Lake substation, which serves about 21,500 customers with a load of about 89 MW. Accordingly, the failure of the entire Line #231 would result in the loss of the directly fed Stumpy Lake substation and all customers served by it. Staff added that as a result – as stated in the company’s application – unless the company addresses the critical structural deficiencies associated with the “COR-TEN” structures on Line #231, it would be unable to continue to provide reliable transmission service to the customers served by the Stumpy Lake substation.

Staff said that it agrees that the company has demonstrated that the continued operation of the Line #231 in its existing condition risks having negative impacts to the reliability of the transmission system.

The rebuild project has also been approved by the PJM Interconnection board in October 2017 as baseline project #b2899.

Staff also said that the rebuild project is estimated to cost about $19m – that is, $18.5m for transmission line work and $0.5m for substation work; the cost of the rebuild project would be allocated to the Dominion zone. The company’s stated goal is to begin construction of the rebuild project on April 1, 2020, and to complete construction by Dec. 15, 2020, staff noted, adding that the expected in-service date for the project is Dec. 30, 2020.

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.