Dominion, Allegheny seek Virginia regulatory approval of transfer of certain transmission facilities

Written comments on a petition seeking Virginia State Corporation Commission approval of Virginia Electric and Power Company’s (Dominion) proposed acquisition of certain transmission facilities from Allegheny Generating Company are to be filed with the commission clerk by May 20, the commission said in an April 25 order.

Any interested person desiring to submit comments electronically may do so by May 10, the commission noted.

As noted in the order, Dominion and Allegheny on April 1 filed the joint petition with the commission for approvals related to Dominion’s acquisition from Allegheny of certain transmission facilities that begin at the Bath County pumped storage station in Bath County, Va., and extend out towards the company owned Lexington substation and Valley substation.

The commission noted that the transmission facilities include the Air Entrance Bushings; associated air bus leads connecting the generator step up transformers to the Air Entrance Bushings on the gas insulated switchgear (GIS), including associated lightning arresters and coupling capacitor potential devices; the GIS; the 500-kV Bath-Lexington #547 transmission line; the 500-kV Bath-Valley #548 transmission line; as well as associated protective relaying, control, and communications.

Dominion requests commission approval to acquire the transmission facilities from Allegheny under the Utility Transfers Act, while Allegheny requests commission approval to transfer the transmission facilities to Dominion, the commission said.

Dominion further requests that the commission approve, and amend the certificate of convenience and necessity for, the acquisition and operation of the transmission facilities under the Utility Facilities Act.

The commission added that as provided by the companies’ May 3, 2018, ownership agreement, which memorializes the joint ownership and responsibilities with respect to the transmission facilities, Allegheny and Dominion co-own the transmission facilities. Under the companies’ May 3, 2018, operating agreement, Dominion is responsible for performing the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the Bath-Lexington 500-kV line and the Bath-Valley 500-kV line.

The commission also said that under the purchase and sale agreement, which the petitioners entered into on Dec. 11, 2017, Dominion would acquire Allegheny’s interest in, and is to continue to perform the O&M on, the transmission facilities; Allegheny would continue to be responsible for its historical joint-ownership share of certain O&M expenses.

The companies assert that the proposed transaction is in the public interest because it would simplify the ownership structure for the transmission facilities and would permit Dominion to consolidate its O&M efforts with respect to the Bath-Lexington 500-kV line and the Bath-Valley 500-kV line, the commission said.

According to the petition, the purchase and sale agreement seeks to preserve historical cost allocation for the transmission facilities, the commission said, adding that while purchasing new transmission assets would normally increase transmission rates, Dominion plans to seek FERC approval to continue the existing cost allocation through charges back to the Allegheny Power System transmission zone; that is, the cost allocation arrangement to be filed at FERC would be designed to negate the increase in DomZone rates and leave Dominion customers harmless.

Dominion asserts that the proposed transaction would not impair or jeopardize the provision of adequate service to the public at just and reasonable rates, and Dominion would continue to ensure that adequate and reliable transmission service is maintained, the commission noted. Among other things, the commission also said that according to Dominion, the proposed transaction would have no material adverse effect on reliability of electric service provided by Allegheny or Dominion.

Any person wishing to request a hearing on the petition is to file such request for hearing with the commission clerk by May 20, the commission said, adding that its staff is to present its findings on the petition in a report to be filed by June 19, and that the companies may file with the clerk any response to that report by June 26.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 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 corinar@pennwell.com.