Dominion is committed to providing reliable service to its customers now and in the future. The growing use of electricity in Northern Virginia has placed Dominion’s ability to meet its responsibility for its Northern Virginia customers increasingly at risk.
To overcome this risk, Dominion received permission to construct a new 65-mile overhead transmission line.
The company filed an application with the State Corporation Commission on April 19, 2007 for approval and certification of the line. In a unanimous decision on October 7, 2008, the SCC ordered that the $243 million Meadow Brook-to-Loudoun transmission project be built and operational by July 1, 2011. Dominion has now placed the line in service on time and under budget.
This transmission line is essential to Dominion Virginia Power's ability to maintain system reliability and support future growth in Northern Virginia.
Below are interviews that voice support for the project:
The approved route follows within or adjacent to an existing transmission line right of way. The route would not claim any historic structures or any new land within state open space easements except where provided for in the State Corporation Commission's Order. By law, the route must reasonably minimize its impact on scenic assets, historic districts and environment of the area concerned.
Alternative Routes and Maps
Dominion Virginia Power also studied potential alternative routes for the 500,000-volt transmission line in Northern Virginia. Files labeled high-res are large, so allow extra time to download. Medium and low resolution files can be downloaded more quickly, but they lack fine details when enlarged.
Meadow Brook-Loudoun transmission line updates are provided below.
The SCC ordered on October 7, 2008 that the Meadow Brook-to-Loudoun transmission project be built and operational by July 1, 2011. It also affirmed the 65-mile 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 State Corporation Commission (SCC) Hearing Examiner issued a report July 28, 2008 affirming the need for the 500kV Meadow Brook-to-Loudoun transmission line. The report also finds that Dominion’s proposed route "reasonably minimizes adverse impacts."
The SCC approves all electric transmission facilities of 138,000 volts (138 kV) or more in Virginia, which includes this project. The SCC has issued an order setting the procedural schedule. A SCC Hearing Examiner serves as a judge at the hearings. Afterwards, the Hearing Examiner will issue a report to the three SCC Commissioners. The Commissioners will review all of the evidence and the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation before deciding.
SCC Order for Notice and Hearing
The SCC issued an order that set out a schedule for the hearing process. Below is a list of hearing dates. >> View the complete Order (PDF file).
Local Public Hearings
- July 26, 2007, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; July 27, 9:30 a.m.; Fauquier Co. High School, Warrenton.
- Aug. 9, 2007, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Aug. 10, 9:30 a.m.; Marsteller Middle School, Bristow.
- Aug. 13, 2007, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Aug. 14, 9:30 a.m.; James Wood High School, Winchester.
- Aug. 15, 2007, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Aug. 16, 9:30 a.m.; North Warren Volunteer Fire Department, 89 Rockland Road, Front Royal.
- The public hearing resumed in Richmond on Monday, January 14, 2008, at 9 a.m. Additional public comments were accepted in the Commission’s second floor courtroom located in the Tyler Building, 1300 East Main Street, Richmond.
- Feb. 25, 2008, 9 a.m., SCC Courtroom, Richmond
"Application, Appendix, DEQ Supplement, Direct Testimony and Exhibits of Virginia Electric and Power Company Before the State Corporation Commission of Virginia"
View the document list for this case on the SCC Web site. (As an alternative, visit the SCC site and select "SEARCH CASES" on the navigation across the top of the page. Enter the Case Number, PUE-2007-00031, in the "Enter Case Number" field and click on "Search.")
In addition, below are links to the application documents. Note: Some attached PDF files are large -- allow time to download.
Volume I - Application and Appendix
Volume II - Testimony
Volume III - Testimony
Volume VI - Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Supplement
Volume V - Testimony
Dominion Rebuttal Testimony
Volume VI - Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Supplement
Dominion’s Meadow Brook-to-Loudoun 500kV Transmission Line: Vital to Northern Virginia’s Energy Reliability and to National Security
Northern Virginia’s transmission system could face severe overloads starting in 2011. These overloads could require drastic measures such as rolling blackouts. If left unchecked, it could lead to system failure and cascading blackouts.
KEMA, a well-respected, international firm that has served as a transmission consultant for the Virginia SCC, confirms the critical need for a transmission solution in Northern Virginia. PJM concurs with this assessment. Even some opponents of the proposed line acknowledge the need for urgent solutions to Northern Virginia’s energy problems.
The U.S. Department of Energy has labeled the region a "critical congestion area" that faces "unparalleled problems." This line is needed by 2011 to comply with new, mandatory federal reliability standards.
Reliable Service in Northern Virginia Essential to National Security
Regional reliability issues could threaten national security. As former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Edward Badolato said in Dominion’s application with the SCC, "Loss of power, and in particular, chronic shortages [due to] lack of adequate electric transmission capacity to Northern Virginia can have profound impacts on our national security."
The region is home to facilities such as the Pentagon, the CIA, and data centers for the defense, intelligence, and homeland security sectors. Major expansions include doubling the size of Ft. Belvoir and construction of a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
Badolato noted that power problems in Northern Virginia could have serious effects throughout the entire National Capital Region (NCR). “Blackouts and loss of service…can impact emergency services, transportation, healthcare, building support, food supply and other non-defense components of the federal, state and local governments.”
Northern Virginia is also a critical component of the nation’s high-tech economy and information superhighway. No fewer than 23 new data centers — small campuses with a total electrical demand equal to a mid-sized city — are in the planning stages.
Other Solutions Not Feasible
Conservation and new generation, while helpful, are not feasible ways to solve the problem. By 2011, Northern Virginians would have to reduce their peak demand energy use by 40% to avert the need for the line. KEMA found this scenario "clearly not reasonable."
KEMA also found that meeting the need through new generation was not feasible. This would require construction of "one of the largest [power stations] in North America" by 2011 in Northern Virginia. An even larger station would be needed by 2016, KEMA found.
Given the urgent nature of the problem and the critical importance of the region, Dominion must pursue solutions that are certain to work and can be in place on time. The proposed transmission line is the only solution that meets these standards.
Background on KEMA
KEMA is an internationally recognized power system engineering firm with its American headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts. With more than 400 full-time professionals, KEMA has provided technical expertise and analysis for the entire range of stakeholder groups, from public utility regulators and commissions, to utilities, to private citizens. For example, KEMA was retained by the State Corporation Commission in 1998 to evaluate Appalachian Power Co.’s proposed 765-kilovolt transmission line from its Wyoming Substation in West Virginia to its Cloverdale Substation near Roanoke. The line has since been constructed and energized.
KEMA was engaged to determine independently of Dominion if there is a need for major new transmission capacity in Northern Virginia and to evaluate potential solutions.
In maintaining reliability, utilities must examine worst-case scenarios that involve failure of major generation and transmission facilities. If there is not enough transmission capacity to address these contingencies, the entire system can be put in jeopardy, with costly and potentially devastating consequences such as blackouts.
Testimony and KEMA Report
The testimony and report are part of Dominion's Application filed April 19, 2007, titled: "Application, Appendix, DEQ Supplement, Direct Testimony and Exhibits of Virginia Electric and Power Company Before the State Corporation Commission of Virginia."
Summary of KEMA Findings
Major Points in Study Analysis
The study evaluated 10 alternatives to solving the need by 2011, including demand-side management (DSM), new generation, and eight different transmission options.
Demand-Side Management Option
Other Transmission Options
The KEMA study confirms that serious reliability problems will result by 2011 if nothing is done in Northern Virginia. These problems require new transmission facilities by 2011, which the DVP alternatives meet.
Video Discussions (P. Jeffrey Palermo)
View individual videos below:
Contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Meadow Brook - Loudoun project.