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Virginia Regulators Conditionally Approve Solar Project, Including 500-kV Gen-Tie Line

June 1, 2021
As noted in the filing, Cavalier anticipates an in-service date for the project of Dec. 31, 2022.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission, in a May 27 final order, granted, subject to conditions, certificates of public convenience and necessity (CPCNs) to Cavalier Solar A, LLC to build and operate solar generating facilities in Surry County and Isle of Wight County in Virginia.

As noted in the filing, Cavalier in October 2020 filed with the commission an application for CPCNs to build and operate the facilities — totaling up to 240 MW (alternating current) — as well as to build the necessary transmission lines to interconnect the solar facilities to the transmission grid.

The commission added that the proposed interconnection facilities include about two miles of 34.5-kV medium-voltage feeder line to interconnect the solar facilities with the collector substation, and an approximately 0.35-mile, 500-kV generation-tie line to interconnect the collector substation to the transmission grid at the Septa substation.

According to Cavalier, the project would be built on about 1,776 acres in a rural area on a compilation of parcels consisting of agricultural land, as well as cleared forest and timber land (referred to as the project site). The commission added that the Septa substation, where the project will interconnect to the transmission system, is located adjacent to the southeast portion of the project site, in Isle of Wight County, on a parcel owned by Virginia Electric and Power (Dominion).

According to Cavalier, the commission said, the electricity, capacity, and associated green attributes generated from the project will be sold under a long-term power purchase agreement with a customer located in the transmission region operated by PJM Interconnection.

The commission noted that a hearing examiner, in an April report, recommended that the commission authorize the company to build and operate the project, subject to certain conditions; Cavalier affirmatively supported those conditions.

The commission said that it agrees with the hearing examiner that Cavalier should be granted three separate CPCNs for the generation, transmission, and distribution required to build and operate the project.

The commission also noted that the CPCNs are expressly conditioned upon Cavalier:

  • Paying the cost of all network upgrades that PJM assigns to Cavalier or its designated representative
  • Complying with the unopposed recommendations in a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) report, as well as the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources’ (DWR) revised recommendation concerning native seed. The DEQ recommended, for instance, that the company should coordinate with the DWR on the preparation and implementation of a plan using a native plant seed mix for ground cover
  • Complying with an agreed two-year sunset provision. As noted in the order, commission staff and Cavalier have accepted a two-year sunset provision for the CPCNs related to the project. The commission said that the CPCNs are to expire two years from the date of the final order if project construction has not started, with Cavalier able to subsequently petition the commission for an extension of that provision for good cause shown

As noted in the filing, Cavalier anticipates an in-service date for the project of Dec. 31, 2022.

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