The Piedmont Environmental Council has some experience dealing with Dominion and transmission line proposals through our region. In 2006 and 2008, utilities proposed two unnecessary high-voltage transmission lines that would connect to the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired generation in the United States. Learn more about the TrAIL line (approved and built) and the PATH line (turned down). More recently, a series of projects has been proposed, each with its own set of details and impacts.

Background on the TrAIL Line

The 500-kV transmission line proposed by Dominion Virginia Power and Allegheny Power (through their subsidiary TrAILCo) would begin in Western Pennsylvania, cross through West Virginia, and end in Loudoun County, Virginia. In Virginia it would pass through the Meadow Brook Substation in Frederick County on its way to the Arcola Substation in Loudoun County.

PATH Gears Up For Round II

The following text was sent out via email alert on 07/14/2010:

It looks like PATH is gearing up for a second attempt at getting their transmission line approved and sited across three states. In June, PJM reaffirmed the “need” for PATH, and in early July, PATH submitted new testimony in West Virginia. We expect a new application to be submitted in Virginia and Maryland soon.

There are also scoping hearings being held by the National Parks Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on July 19, 20, 21 and 22 to take public comment to help develop the scope of the federal review on the impact of the PATH project.

Background on the PATH Line

The Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH) is a proposed $1.8 billion 200-plus mile long 765 kV extra high voltage electric transmission line linking the Amos substation (located adjacent to the nearly forty year old 2,933 MW coal-fired John E. Amos Power Plant located in western West Virginia) with a new substation proposed to be built in Frederick County, Maryland. PATH has been recommended by PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization. PJM is a consortium of power companies, transmission companies and other interested utilities. PATH is a joint project of AEP and Allegheny Power.

Federal Court Strikes Down Transmission Line Corridors

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy designated two National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETCs), where energy companies were granted unprecedented access to federal eminent domain authority for the fast track siting of transmission lines. These “corridors” spanned 100 million acres, and the larger of the two, in the eastern part of the country, extended from New York to Virginia and included six of PEC’s nine counties: Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, Madison and Rappahannock.