Dominion Virginia Power is proposing to build an 8.8-mile, double circuit 138 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in portions of Wise County and Russell County. The new facilities are necessary to connect the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Virginia City, Va., to the existing electrical grid system.
Upon completion, this new station will generate 585 MW of electrical power, and existing electrical transmission capabilities in the immediate area are inadequate to accept this power.
This application for an approximate 8.8-mile, double circuit 138kV transmission line is being submitted by Dominion Virginia Power as a means to connect a proposed coal-fired power station in Virginia City, Va., to the existing electrical grid system. Dominion Virginia Power has already submitted an application for the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, which will generate 585 MW of electrical power when completed. Existing electrical transmission capabilities in Wise County and Russell County are inadequate to accept power from the planned station.
This proposed line originates in Wise County, Virginia at the Company’s proposed coal plant and terminates at a proposed substation near AEP's Clinch River Steam Plant in Russell County.
Two types of structures are being considered, and Dominion proposes to utilize either one of these, or a combination of the two.
The proposed construction of a new double-circuit, 138kV line requires approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), and Dominion filed an application for this project on Dec. 3, 2007. The SCC is responsible for determining the need, route, and environmental impact of transmission lines in Virginia.
Anyone may comment to the SCC concerning our plans. VDOT permits will be required for road crossings. Any wetlands impacts will require a JPA to be submitted, and may or may not qualify for NW12.
A line is required for backfeed by November 1, 2010. Initial synchronizing with the coal plant is planned for August 15, 2011. Below is a detailed project schedule:
Contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Hybrid Energy Center-Clinch River project.
Yes, a new 120-foot right-of-way will be required.
Yes, construction of the 120-foot right-of-way will involve removal of trees and vegetation. In rural areas, trees will be placed in piles along the edge of the right-of-way. Adjacent to homes, trees will be removed. If a property owner is interested in the logs for firewood, we will be happy to stack that wood to the side. If a property owner lives on one side of the wooded right-of-way and we are removing all the buffer between their home and the new line, we will work with that property owner to install low growing vegetation outside of our right-of-way to provide a visual screen between that home and the proposed line.
Yes. Our easement agreement allows us ingress and egress over private roads of property owners crossed by the right-of-way. The Company, at its expense, will repair any private roads damaged by Dominion or its contractors during construction of the line or its future maintenance. In addition, we will reimburse property owners for crop damage, and repair or replace fences or gates if for some reason we should damage them.
Construction will last approximately one year. Construction is scheduled to begin September 2009, and the transmission lines are scheduled to be placed in service by September 2010.
Because trees will be cleared in some areas, there will be some loss of habitat for some species, but other species that require open or meadow areas will benefit. Dominion will have the right-of-way surveyed for possible threatened or endangered animals, insects, or plants, and work with the appropriate State agencies to protect any species that may be found.
Wetlands will be flagged in the field before construction begins. Any areas within 100 feet of streams will be cleared by hand rather than mechanized means. Temporary culverts and matting will be used if it is necessary for construction vehicles to go across streams and wetlands areas. A Phase I archaeological study will be prepared and any areas of archaeological importance will be flagged and protected before construction begins.
Dominion submits annual Erosion and Sedimentation Control Specifications for the construction and maintenance of transmission lines to the Department of Conservation and Recreation for review and approval. This project will be included in the 2009 submittal when construction is expected to begin. These specifications are given to our contractors and require E&S control measures be in place before construction begins. Once construction is complete, the right-of-way will be rehabilitated.
This is a difficult issue to address. Proximity of power lines to homes may be an issue for some people but is not for others. While some homebuyers may not want to purchase a home in the vicinity of transmission lines, others find the added buffer to other homes a benefit. This is also evidenced by the homes that have been built next to the existing right-of-way after the existing line was constructed and by many similar circumstances across our transmission system.
Dominion is sensitive to public concern about possible health effects from exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF). Dominion includes data on the levels of both electric and magnetic fields produced by proposed facilities in all applications submitted with the SCC. We continually monitor EMF research and speak to our customers and employees regularly to share the latest information available.
The Virginia SCC, which regulates the construction and operation of electric transmission lines of 138kV and above, considers EMF in every application. Hearing Examiner’s remarks from recent proceedings are below.
The Virginia Department of Health in its final report evaluating EMF research concluded:
"Based on the review and analysis of the exhaustive literature review and other research projects completed under the EMF-RAPID program, the Virginia Department of Health is of the opinion that there is no conclusive and convincing evidence that exposure to extremely low frequency EMF emanated from nearby high voltage transmission lines is causally associated with an increased incidence of cancer or other detrimental health effects in humans. Even if it is assumed that there is an increased risk of cancer as implied in some epidemiologic studies, the empirical relative risk appears to be fairly small in magnitude and the observed association appears to be tenuous. The studies published in the literature lack clear demonstration of a cause and effect relationship as well as a definitive dose-response gradient."
For more information regarding this project please contact Courtney Fisher at 1-800-215-8032.