Join Us May 6, 2015 at the Rapidan Fire Hall to learn more (see below for meeting details)
There is a new 230-kV transmission line being proposed by Dominion, in coordination with First Energy. Depending on the route selected, the line would run for 13.2 – 18.5 miles, connecting the Pratts substation in Madison County to an existing line that runs between the Gordonsville (Orange) and Remington (Fauquier) substations.
This map shows the proposed study area, potential routes, and details some, but not all of the conservation and community resources that could be impacted.
Dominion has mailed notice to all of the landowners within this proposed study area. They have also held community meetings to make known their intent to pursue this transmission line and provide and gather information on the two potential routes they have selected.
The Piedmont Environmental Council has some experience dealing with Dominion and transmission line proposals through our region. Dominion and PJM (regional transmission authority) have identified the need to interconnect the Pratts substation to the grid. Currently this substation has only one point of interconnection. While the substation may need an additional connection, how and where that occurs is a matter of debate.
What We Have Learned So Far
This 230-kV project is tied to several proposed upgrades to existing transmission lines, and Dominion claims this new line as necessary. However, the necessity of this particular line has not been demonstrated. The route selected for the new line will also play a role in how extensive an upgrade will be needed on the existing line running from Gordonsville to Remington. Some of the land within the study area is within conservation easement and the majority is prime or important agricultural soils. Several historic and Civil War sites are also impacted. Scenic Byways and the Rapidan River (likely eligible for scenic status) also fall within the study area.
PEC has been in contact with Dominion and has been tracking the planning by the regional transmission organization, PJM. Dominion has stated that it will file a permit with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) in 2015 and plans to do so by late spring.
Often projects that are tied to one another are discussed separately in an attempt to artificially segment reviews by the regulating agency.
Join us in Rapidan on May 6th
In order to weigh in effectively on this proposal, the community needs to begin organizing now and understand how all these proposals are connected. In our experience, Dominion relies on neighbors working against each other, pitting one route against the other. The community must stick together if it stands any chance in defeating or positively shaping proposals. .
Transmission line projects are tricky, because of the multiple venues the projects are considered and planned. Regulators look favorably on the cheapest way to supply ratepayers with the infrastructure necessary for a reliable grid. But this does not mean all projects are needed. Dominion gets a set rate of return on all infrastructure projects. Therefore, they are in the business of building, and in some cases exaggerating the need of, projects in order to boost their bottom line. The Piedmont Environmental Council and the OMC Alliance (omcalliance.org) cordially invites all those interested to a community meeting we are hosting on May 6th, from 6:30-8:00pm at the Rapidan Fire Hall. Please join us to learn more about the proposal, it’s connection to other projects in our area, and how you can be involved.
Rapidan Fire Hall
9729 Locust Dale Rd
Rapidan, VA 22733
We will be looking into this issue very closely, and will follow up with additional meetings and information as we learn more. In the meantime, please contact us if you have more information to share, or questions about this proposal.