Monday, September 11, 2006

Support Dominion Power High Voltage Power Lines

Dominion Virginia Power, based in Richmond, Virginia, applied to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) on Sept 6 for permission to build a substation and five-mile-long power line in a fast-growing area of Stafford County. If approved, the 230,000-volt transmission line would be built entirely on an existing right-of-way, linking a transmission line east of U.S. Route 1 and a proposed new substation near Garrisonville. The $13.5 million project needs to be in service by the summer of 2009 to meet the demand for electricity in the Garrisonville area, which is growing by 3 percent to 5 percent each year. Garrisonville is on the edge of Northern Virginia and along Interstate 95, about 30 miles south of Washington, D.C. The SCC, which is responsible for approving transmission power lines in Virginia, will set a schedule for public meetings and hearings.

Dominion is also planning another 500,00 volt electricity line to serve Northern Virginia that will run across parts of Prince William, Fauquier and Loudoun counties. It would be part of a 240-mile line from southwestern Pennsylvania and would connect to a substation near the Loudoun village of Aldie. The line will serve 275,000 homes and reduce stress on the entire mid-Atlantic electricity system. Traditional environmental and conservation groups are predictably opposing the project, although they have no practical alternative. The 100-mile line could receive "national interest" designation, which would allow the utility to by-pass state and local agencies. Dominion probably wants to get state and local support if it can. However, they have a fidiciary responsibility to provide power to their customers.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of about 28,000 megawatts of generation, about 6.3 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas reserves and 7,800 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline. Dominion also operates one of the nation's largest underground natural gas storage systems with about 950 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in ten states. (Washington Post article)

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