July 29, 2008

SCC to Hear Power Line Report

By Elisa Glushefski, Manassas Journal Messenger, Va.

Jul. 29--A report on Dominion Virginia Power's application to build a 65-mile 500-kilovolt transmission line will go before the State Corporation Commission with a recommendation for approval.

SCC Hearing Examiner Alexander F. Skirpan Jr. filed his report making that recommendation on Monday for both Dominion's and Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company's proposals to construct two transmission lines, totaling 240 miles, in three states, according to an SCC news release.

Richmond-based Dominion has contended that the high-voltage power line--18 miles of which would run through Prince William County--would be needed by summer 2011 in order to prevent projected overloads on the existing 500-kV line that could result in "rolling blackouts."

But opponents contended the lines would transmit cheap power from the Midwest for sale in the Northeast and, Skirpan's report states, that it had "little to do with demand or need in Virginia."

In his report, the hearing examiner determined the lines were necessary to service Northern Virginia and prevent the projected overloads.

Dominion proposed to build the 65-mile eastern segment of the transmission line to the company's substation in Loudoun County.

If the route Skirpan recommended is approved, Dominion would not have to acquire additional right-of-way for the segment in Prince William, said Le-Ha Anderson, a spokeswoman for the power company.

The commission will review the report and the case record before rendering a decision, SCC spokesman Andy Farmer said.

TrAILCo has proposed to build the western segment of the line, starting in southwestern Pennsylvania, through West Virginia and into Virginia.

To view the hearing examiner's report to the SCC, visit docket.scc.virginia.gov/vaprod/main.asp and click on "search cases." Enter the case number, PUE-2007-00031. Click on the case number link and then "documents."

Staff writer Elisa Glushefski can be reached at 703-878-8062.


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