Shawboro–Aydlett Tap 230kV Line

In our continued commitment to provide safe and reliable power to area customers, Dominion plans to add a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Currituck County.  The overhead line project will begin at the Shawboro Substation and continue east/southeast for approximately 11 miles to the connection near the Aydlett Substation (see map).

Between 2000 and 2010, Currituck and Dare Counties experienced a nearly 30% increase in population.  By 2015, forecasted demand could jeopardize the mandatory reliability standards that Dominion is required to meet as set by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). With the addition of this new line, residents and businesses in Currituck County will benefit from increased reliability, and this project will support continued economic development and growth within the region.

Dominion submitted an application with the North Carolina Utility Commission (NCUC) for review. A Final Order was issued on August 26, 2012, approving the Proposed Route and additional right-of-way, as described in the application.

Construction Update

October 2013 - Pre-construction activities

Dominion employees and contractors are accessing the right-of-way to perform pre-construction activities in preparation for construction. 

Pre-construction activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Forestry clearing and cutting of vegetation as required by federal electric transmission guidelines. 
  • Establishing and installing construction access roads for equipment using wooden mats, gravel or stone. These routes may differ from the routes used for routine maintenance, due to vehicle size.

April 2014 - Construction scheduled to begin, continuing through May 2015

Photo Simulations

Simulations of the proposed transmission structures are available below. You can view a PDF file featuring simulations along the entire route, or individually select from eight viewpoints.

Need for the Project

Over the last decade, Currituck and Dare Counties have experienced a nearly 30% increase in population. Projections indicate future power overload on current power lines and risk of service interruption in certain conditions.

Dominion’s new line project will: 

  • add needed capacity,
  • comply with mandatory NERC Reliability Standards, 
  • take advantage of the existing corridor wherever possible, and
  • improve overall reliability for the community.
Project Description
  • The 11-mile overhead line project will largely utilize the existing right-of-way corridor which extends from the Shawboro Substation to the tap near the Aydlett Substation (see map).
  • A new 230 kV line will be installed on new, weathering-steel monopole structures with an approximate average height of 102 feet, constructed in a new 60-foot section of right-of-way to be obtained adjacent to the existing right-of-way, except for the Intracoastal Waterway crossing where the new line will be installed on two structures with an average approximate height of 145 feet within the existing 75-foot right-of-way. (see diagram)
  • Associated equipment will be installed within the existing fencing at the Shawboro and Aydlett Substations to interconnect the new line. 
Project Timeline
  • Winter 2011 - Community outreach and Open Houses held
  • March 19, 2012 - Submitted application with the North Carolina Utility Commission (NCUC) for consideration
  • March 21, 2012 - Received procedural order from NCUC
  • August 29, 2012 - Received Final Order from NCUC
  • Fall/Winter 2012 - Community outreach and right-of-way preparation
  • October 2013 - Pre-construction activities scheduled to begin
  • April 2014 - Construction scheduled to begin
  • June 2015 - Target date to energize additional transmission line
Contact Us

Contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Shawboro–Aydlett 230kV Line.

Questions and Answers

Will Dominion require additional right-of-way?

The new line will largely utilize existing right-of way. However, up to 60 feet of additional easement alongside the existing corridor will be necessary to install the additional line. See application for additional details.

What is the process for Dominion to obtain right-of-way needed for a transmission line project?

Once a route has been determined and a Final Order has been issued by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, Dominion will move forward with the right-of-way acquisition process by first inspecting/surveying the route and then offering financial compensation to the property owner(s) of record based on third party appraisals. Once an agreement is reached between Dominion and the landowner(s) a right-of-way agreement is signed by the landowner whereby an easement for the right-of-way is granted to Dominion in exchange for the agreed upon compensation. Dominion then records the executed right-of-way agreement at the appropriate county courthouse.

Do property owners still own the land after Dominion obtains an easement for the right-of-way?

Yes. Right-of-way agreements provide Dominion with a specified set of rights needed to construct, operate and maintain electric facilities across the landowner’s property within the boundaries of the right-of-way. The landowner still owns the property and can undertake certain activities within the right-of-way that do not conflict with the rights granted to Dominion. Visit the Right-of-Way Use page to learn more.

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

The new line decreases the likelihood of outages, and potentially shortens outage durations, should they occur, to area residents.

What is the electric transmission grid and how does it serve local customers and electric cooperatives?

The electric grid is the network of power lines that carries electricity from power plants to residential, industrial and commercial customers. To work effectively, electricity must at all times flow safely and reliably throughout the grid so the power is available when needed. Aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption, has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation's electrical systems. A ten-part series of stories from National Public Radio has been published on, examining the costs, the politics and other challenges of upgrading the country's electricity grid. Learn how the electric grid operates and how power gets to your home.

What is the cost of adding this new line?

Preliminary estimates are $31 million to construct and energize the new line.

Will the new towers look the same as what’s already in the right-of-way?

The new structures are weathering-steel monopole structures which may be up to 20 feet taller than the existing structures.

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

As part of our regulatory applications, 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 impacts. The company also submits annual Erosion and Sedimentation (E&S) Control Specifications for the construction and maintenance of transmission lines to the appropriate conservation department in North Carolina for review and approval. This project will be submitted for approval prior to construction. Our contractors receive copies of the E&S specifications and additional permit conditions prior to construction and are directed to meet regulatory requirements. The right-of-way will be rehabilitated when construction is complete.

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:

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.

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