Dominion Virginia Power hailed the recent approval by the Virginia State Corporation Commission of a critical transmission line as welcome news to the continuation of a reliable supply of electricity in the greater Northern Virginia area.
"As we said from the beginning of this process more than 2 ½ years ago, this transmission line is the best and only answer to keep the lights on in an important section of our country and our state beginning in the summer of 2011. Today’s decision affirms the soundness of our planning that has always placed our customers’ need for reliable electricity at the forefront," said John D. Smatlak, vice president-Transmission.
In a unanimous decision, the SCC ordered that the $243 million Meadow Brook-to-Loudoun transmission project be built and operational by July 1, 2011. It also affirmed the 65-mi route proposed by the company and recommended by the SCC hearing examiner that is adjacent to or within an existing transmission line right-of-way through Warren, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Fauquier, Prince William and Loudoun counties.
The Meadow Brook-to-Loudoun power line is part of a three-state transmission line, with the other sections proposed by Allegheny Energy in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Virginia SCC and the West Virginia Public Service Commission have approved Allegheny’s applications while its application is pending before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The Virginia SCC ordered that Dominion could not begin building the Meadow Brook line until all three states had approved the transmission line.
The SCC noted that neither planned generation nor conservation plans would remove the need for the Meadow Brook project by the summer of 2011. Dominion has embarked on a series of new conservation programs that are expected to reduce future demand.
"Dominion strongly believes that we must offer the right mix of energy conservation programs for our customers to meet future energy challenges. Still, there will be times that we must add transmission lines to keep electricity flowing," said Smatlak.