Corporate

Landstown-Virginia Beach Line Upgrade

Project Update

Construction on the Landstown-Virginia Beach rebuild project was completed and energized in December 2012. All construction and rehab activities have been completed.

Dominion Virginia Power is obligated to ensure that its transmission system complies with federally mandated reliability criteria. We are committed to doing so in a safe, environmentally responsible and economical manner.

To comply with North American Electric Reliability Corporation ("NERC") Reliability Standards and maintain the structural integrity of its transmission facilities, Dominion has completed the rebuild of existing transmission line facilities to serve the City of Virginia Beach.

Within the existing right-of-way corridor that extends approximately 11 miles from the Virginia Beach Substation off of Laskin Road, to the Landstown Substation off Princess Anne Road, Dominion replaced the existing lattice-style towers with H-frame structures and wires with greater capacity. The new structures are approximately the same height as the previous structures originally located along this line.

Project Details

Construction Updates

All construction and rehab activities have been completed.

  • Phase One (London Bridge - Pendleton) - Completed
  • Phase Two (Princess Anne - London Bridge) - Completed
  • Phase Three (Landstown - Princess Anne) - Completed
  • Phase Four (Pendleton - Virginia Beach) - Completed
Route Map
Need For the Project

The original line in this existing right-of-way was constructed in 1964-65. A significant portion of the towers needed to be replaced.  At the same time, Dominion planed to add needed capacity to serve the Virginia Beach area, including Oceana and Camp Pendleton. This upgrade also helps strengthen the electrical grid and provide needed capacity for continued growth and economic development in the coastal areas.

Project Description

The existing lattice-style towers were removed and replaced with H-frame structures approximately the same height that can support greater capacity. Dominion upgraded the existing 115 kV lines to be operated as a 230 kV line and a 115 kV line.  The new structures supported these upgraded lines within the existing right-of-way corridor that extends approximately 11 miles from the Virginia Beach Substation off of Laskin Road, to the Landstown Substation off Princess Anne Road.

  • Approximate total line length - 11 miles  
  • Right-of-Way - No additional right-of-way needed 
  • Typical structure description - Two-pole steel structures. View a diagram of the existing lattice-style towers and the proposed steel structures.
SCC Approval Process

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

  • On March 1, 2010, Dominion filed an application with the SCC for the Landstown – Virginia Beach 230 kV Transmission Line Rebuild.
  • On March 24, 2010, the SCC issued an Order for Notice prescribing notice of the application and establishing the procedural schedule for the case.
  • On July 7, 2010 the SCC Staff issued its Report concluding that the company had reasonably demonstrated the need and that the route along existing right-of-way is optimal for the Landstown – Virginia Beach project.
  • On October 21, 2010, the SCC issued a Final Order authorizing the construction and operation of the Landstown – Virginia Beach 230 kV Transmission Line Rebuild.

Information and documents pertaining to this case may be found by referencing Case No. PUE-2010-00012, after following the instructions available at the Commission's website: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/case.

Target Schedule
  • Spring 2010 - Submit application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission for consideration
  • Spring 2011 - Secure necessary local permits for construction
  • Summer 2011 - Community outreach and notification of intent to construct
  • Fall 2011 - Construction scheduled to begin, subject to SCC approval
  • December 2012 - Transmission line placed in service
Contact Us

Contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Landstown - Virginia Beach upgrade project.

Questions and Answers

Will this project require additional right-of-way?

No, the proposed transmission line will be constructed within an existing right-of-way.

Will tree clearing be necessary for this line?

Yes, more than likely.  Trees located outside of the right-of-way which are tall enough to potentially impact the transmission lines may be removed.  These trees are commonly referred as danger trees; view a diagram of danger tree clearances.  Minimal additional clearing may be necessary in some locations.  Prior to construction, the existing right-of-way must be cleared to allow construction activities and the safe operation of the future transmission line configuration. Existing low-growing vegetation may be left in place when it does not interfere with construction activities.

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 is practical.  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.

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. Dominion also submits annual Erosion and Sedimentation (E&S) Control Specifications for the construction and maintenance of transmission lines to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for review and approval. This project will be submitted 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.

Will Dominion repair damage due to construction?

Yes. Our easement agreements allow us access to 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 during future maintenance. In addition, we will reimburse property owners for crop damage, and repair or replace fences or gates if we damage them.

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

The Virginia State Corporation Commission will schedule a public hearing, most likely in the project area, with an evidentiary hearing thereafter.  Citizens are encouraged to participate in the process and provide input.  The SCC maintains copies of all documents related to the case.  After the application is filed, updates about the status of the application can be found on the SCC website at www.scc.virginia.gov.

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). 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.

  • March 23, 2009 Beaumeade-NIVO (Case Number PUE-2008-00063) Report of Michael D. Thomas, Hearing Examiner concludes that "… electric transmission line electromagnetic fields do not represent a human health hazard.”
  • May 4, 2010 Hayes-Yorktown (Case Number PUE-2009-00049) Report of Deborah V. Ellenberg, Chief Hearing Examiner, states, “I find that EMF has not been identified as a carcinogen for human beings despite extensive study over many years, and there is, therefore, no basis on which to prohibit the Company from authorizing appropriate uses of its right-of-way.”
  • August 23, 2011 Hollymead (Case Number PUE-2011-00015) Report of Michael D. Thomas, Hearing Examiner, states, “The proposed facilities do not represent a hazard to human health, which finding is consistent with the Virginia Department of Health’s report entitled Monitoring of Ongoing Research on the Health Effects of High Voltage Transmission Lines (Final Report) dated October 31, 2000.”

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."

Additional information:

Why does Dominion continue to build power lines rather than meet energy needs by supporting Conservation and Demand Side Management instead?

This particular project is necessary to resolve violations of federally mandated reliability criteria for transmission lines.  However, Dominion does have several conservation and demand side management programs in place.  In the summer of 2008, Dominion launched nine pilot programs that tested customer acceptance of new energy-saving initiatives. Approximately 4,500 customers in Dominion's Central, Eastern and Northern Virginia service areas were randomly solicited to participate in one of the pilot programs including Programmable Thermostats, Air-Conditioning Cycling Devices, Home Energy Audits, and PowerCost Monitors. These pilot programs are a vital part of laying the groundwork for even larger conservation initiatives in the future. They help us learn more about the type of programs our customers want - and help us create initiatives that will produce increased energy savings.

Dominion has announced an Energy Conservation Plan to achieve the goal shared by the state of Virginia to increase the Commonwealth's energy independence and to reduce the growth in energy use by 10% by 2022.  The Energy Conservation Plan is currently being evaluated by the Virginia SCC.  In addition, Dominion is partnering with the U.S. EPA/DOE ENERGY STAR program to help get the word out about using energy-efficient appliances and making energy-efficiency improvements at home.

We also endorse the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency Recommendations, which provides principles and guidelines for state legislatures, public utility commissions and electric utilities to use to meet the nation's growing demand for energy by delivery cost-effective demand-side options.

Charlottesville is the first city in Virginia and one of the first in the nation where homes and businesses will be equipped with "smart meters" that will make the delivery of electricity more efficient and less costly and will lay the groundwork for a "smart grid."

Dominion will utilize its electrical distribution, communications and information technology infrastructure to promote energy conservation and environmental responsibility, improve customer service and improve utility operations in this smart grid effort.  For more information, learn about SmartGrid Charlottesville.  You can also view Energy Saving Tips and information on Dominion's Virginia Green Power initiative.

To get personalized tips to reduce your usage and save money, check out our Home Energy Calculator.

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