Dooms - Bremo Rebuild Project

As part of our ongoing commitment to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to customers, Dominion is planning to rebuild and upgrade an existing 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line that extends approximately 43 miles from the Dooms Substation in Augusta County to the Bremo Substation in Fluvanna County.

Within the existing right-of-way corridor, the existing H-frame structures will be replaced with new steel structures and wires that can support greater capacity. (> View existing and proposed structures.)

This upgrade will strengthen the electrical grid and provide needed capacity for continued growth and economic development in Augusta, Albemarle, and Fluvanna counties and the surrounding areas.


Project Details

Need for the Project

Since 2001, demand for electricity has more than doubled in the areas served by the Dooms-Bremo line. To comply with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) criteria, Dominion is planning to rebuild and upgrade the existing 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line by 2014. This line, built in 1957, is projected to reach levels requiring an upgrade to alleviate the potential of equipment failure and extended outages.

The project is necessary to assure that Dominion can continue to provide reliable electric service to its customers served from the Midway delivery point (DP), Red Hill DP, Sherwood Substation, Kidd’s Store DP, Bremo Substation, Cunningham DP, Trice’s Lake DP, Cartersville Substation, James River Industrial Substation, and Columbia DP consistent with mandatory NERC Reliability Standards for transmission facilities and Dominion’s planning criteria. 

Power flow studies show that the company’s transmission facilities will not meet NERC Reliability Standards if the rebuilt and upgraded line is not in service by the summer of 2014. The failure to address these projected NERC violations could lead to loss of service and potentially damage the electrical facilities in this area. The need for the proposed transmission facilities is being driven by load growth in the local area.  Over the 10 year period from 2001 to 2010, peak electrical demand in this area grew from 80 MW to 186.5 MW, an increase of 133%.  In addition, load projections (based on the 2011 load forecast) indicate an average annual growth rate of approximately 3.19%.

Future plans include the conversion of Line #39 from Dooms to Sherwood and Line #91 from Sherwood to Bremo from operation at 115kV to 230kV.

Project Description

Dominion’s upgrade solution:

  • Using existing right-of-way corridor.
  • Existing H-frame structures will be replaced with new steel structures that can support greater capacity. (> View existing and proposed structures.)
  • By 2017, Dominion plans to operate the rebuilt and upgraded transmission line as a 230 kV line (requiring SCC approval).

Improvements will support continued growth and economic development expected for Augusta, Albemarle and Fluvanna counties as well as the surrounding areas.

The project will: 

  • add needed capacity to serve the high growth areas,
  • help strengthen the electrical grid,
  • comply with mandatory NERC Reliability Standards,
  • replace aging infrastructure, and 
  • improve overall reliability for the community.
Construction Schedule

Phase One - Line 91 (Bremo Road - Transco Road)

  • New line energized from Bremo Road – Kidds Store Rd. in September 2012.
  • All work is completed for Phase One.

Phase Two - Line 91 (Transco Road - Red Hill Road)

  • All foundation work has been completed and the new structures are in place.
  • All work is completed for Phase Two.

Phase Three - Line 39 Sections A, B, C (Red Hill Road - Dooms Substation)

Line 39 - SECTION A - (Old Lynchburg Road – Red Hill Road)

  • New line energized September 2013
  • Rehab work completed for Section A

Line 39 - SECTION B - (Red Hill Road – Midway)

  • Overhead line work completed January 2014
  • Rehab work began February 2014

Line 39 - SECTION C - (Midway – Dooms Substation)

  • Pre-construction forestry work began August 2013.
  • Pre-construction activities on-going by preparing the access points to the right-of-way by improving and enhancing these areas with wood matting and gravel to support construction equipment.
  • Construction began mid-January 2014 and is currently in progress.
  • Installation of foundations is currently about 50% completed.
  • Crews will be using cranes and large equipment to erect the new structures onto the foundations.
Project Timeline
  • Late March 2011 — Community Outreach: letters, newspaper ads, Open House events in Crozet & Fork Union
  • April 29, 2011 — Project application submitted with the Virginia State Corporation Commission
  • Fall 2011 — pre-construction activities begin along the right-of-way corridor
  • Early 2012 — Secure necessary permits for construction
  • Early Spring 2012 — Community outreach and notification of intent to construct
  • Spring/Summer 2012 — Construction scheduled to begin
  • May 2014 — Target date to energize the rebuilt transmission line


SCC Approval Process

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is responsible for determining the need, route and environmental impact of transmission lines at 138 kV and above in Virginia.

Dominion filed an application with the SCC on April 29, 2011. On May 24, 2011, the SCC issued its Procedural Order in the Dooms-Bremo Rebuild case, which included a public hearing on September 14, 2011. On November 15, 2011, the Hearing Examiner for the case issued a Report confirming the need for the project and recommending approval.

On January 25, 2012 the SCC issued a Final Order authorizing Dominion to rebuild and upgrade its existing 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line that extends approximately 43 miles from the Dooms Substation in Augusta County to the Bremo Substation in Fluvanna County.

The application and further information are made available to the public on the SCC Docket Search section of the SCC web site. In the "Search Cases" section of the website, enter case number PUE-2011-00039.

To learn more about this process, view our SCC process map.

Contact Us

Contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Dooms-Bremo Rebuild Project.

Questions and Answers

Will Dominion require additional right-of-way?

No, Dominion will not need to acquire any additional right-of-way from property owners along the line corridor. However, some additional clearing will be required within Dominion’s existing right-of-way since some portions of the line right-of-way were never cleared edge-to-edge. From US Route 15 in Fluvanna County west, almost to Carter’s Mountain Road in Albemarle County, Dominion’s existing right-of-way is 150 feet in width. When the original line was built in 1957, only 100 feet of the corridor width was cleared and the structures there today are centered in the 100’ wide clearing. The extra 50 feet, which is on the southern side of the corridor, will be cleared for this upgrade. The new structures will be centered in the full 150’ wide corridor (see before and after drawings). Construction and safe operation of the upgraded lines will require the use of Dominion’s full right-of-way width.

Will tree clearing be necessary for this line?

Yes, in some locations.  Prior to building a new power line, the existing right-of-way must be cleared to allow construction activities and eventual transmission line operation. For this rebuild project, the existing variable width transmission corridor is currently maintained for existing transmission facility operation. Additional clearing will be necessary in some areas to support the rebuilt line, within Dominion’s original full right-of-way. See details above.

Existing low-growing vegetation may be left in place when it does not interfere with construction activities.  Additionally, trees located outside of the right-of-way which are tall enough to potentially impact the transmission line, may also be removed.  These trees are commonly referred to as danger trees; view a diagram of danger tree clearances.

Trees are cut to be no more than 3 inches above ground level.  Debris that is adjacent to homes will be disposed of by chipping or removal.  In other areas, debris may be mulched or chipped as needed. Clearing will be accomplished by hand in wetland areas and within 100 feet of streams. Care will be taken not to leave debris in streams or wetland areas. Matting will be used for heavy equipment in these areas. Erosion control devices will be used on an ongoing basis during all clearing activities.  Property owners will be notified before construction clearing begins.

How will the completion of this project benefit me as a resident?

Improvements will support continued growth and economic development expected for Augusta, Albemarle and Fluvanna counties as well as the surrounding areas.

The project will:

  • add needed capacity to serve the high growth areas,
  • help strengthen the electrical grid,
  • comply with mandatory NERC Reliability Standards,
  • replace aging infrastructure, and  
  • improve overall reliability for the community.
I'm a member of the local electric co-operative, not a Dominion customer. How does a Dominion transmission project benefit me?

Nearly half of the customers served by the existing transmission line are CVEC or AEP customers.  Due to the interconnected nature of the electric transmission grid, all of these customers rely on Dominion's transmission infrastructure to deliver reliable power.

Can Dominion build a portion or the entire line underground?

Overhead lines have proven to be the best choice for providing safe, reliable and economical energy to our customers. Underground transmission lines are not as desirable from an operational point of view. The duration of outages for underground transmission lines is significantly greater compared to overhead lines due to the complexities of locating failures and facilitating repairs.  Additionally, labor and material costs for the installation of a 230 kV underground transmission line would be 6 to 10 times more expensive than an overhead option.

Dominion operates a high-voltage network of approximately 6,100 miles of transmission lines. Of this total, less than 1% (67 miles) is comprised of underground cables. At 230 kilovolts, such as the future line, there are approximately 2,600 miles of overhead lines and 44 miles of underground cables in our service area. These underground installations are primarily for large water crossings, dense metro areas, or other areas that are not suitable for overhead lines.

Where may I obtain more information on the project's SCC application?

The SCC maintains copies of all documents related to the case. Updates about the status of the application can be found on the SCC website at

Will Dominion repair damage due to construction?

Yes. Our easement agreements typically allow us access to our right of way across property that is crossed by the easement. The company, at its expense, will repair any property damaged by Dominion or its contractors during construction of the line or during future maintenance. In addition, we will reimburse property owners for crop damage, and repair or replace fences or gates if we damage them.

What will be the environmental impact of construction of the line?

As part of the SCC application, Dominion completes an evaluation of potential environmental, cultural, and historical impacts of the project. Dominion works with many local and state agencies to complete these evaluations and mitigate any impacts. The company also submits annual Erosion and Sedimentation (E&S) Control Specifications and an anticipated list of transmission line projects for the construction and maintenance of transmission lines to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for review and approval.

For program year 2012, this project will be included in the annual submittal for approval prior to construction. Our contractors receive copies of the E&S specifications and any additional permit conditions prior to construction and are directed to meet any requirements. The right-of-way will be rehabilitated when construction is complete.

Our enterprise-wide environmental report describes our commitment to responsible stewardship of natural resources and provides a wealth of information on environmental management and performance. We also invite you to read our Corporate Environmental Policy and our Greenhouse Gas report.

Should I be concerned about Electric and Magnetic Fields?

Dominion is sensitive to public concern about possible health effects from exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF). We continually monitor EMF research and speak to our customers and employees regularly to share the latest information available.

The Virginia Department of Health, in its final report, "Monitoring of Ongoing Research of the Health Effects on High Voltage Transmission Lines," said:

"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."

Additional information:

How can I learn more about the electric grid?
  • The modern "electric grid," referring to the power lines that supply your home with electricity, receives the power from many sources and types of generation including wind, coal, natural gas, hydroelectric and others. There is not a one-to-one connection between any fuel source and customer. Get more information on how the grid works.
  • View a diagram of how power gets to your house.
  • Check out the interactive simulations available on the Department of Energy website. You can also see how a few simple changes at home can lower your own consumption, and your power bill!
  • So where is all the power going? Find out who the big users are and much more on an information-packed site from Virginia’s State Corporation Commission.
  • Dominion has a Green Power initiative that you might be interested in reviewing. You also can learn about Dominion’s other Conservation Programs.
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