Dominion Granted Extension for Power Line Project

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A simulated view of the over-river power line from the Kingsmill area. (Photo courtesy Dominion)
A simulated view of the over-river power line from the Kingsmill area. (Photo courtesy Dominion)

Dominion Virginia Power has been granted an extension to complete its proposed power generation project for the Peninsula, which includes a transmission line over the James River and a switching station at Skiffes Creek.

The State Corporation Commission issued an order Dec. 22 allowing Dominion 20 months to bring the project online once it receives a building permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Stephen Watts of McGuire Woods submitted a motion for the extension on Dominion’s behalf Dec. 1. Responses to the motion were due Dec. 14 but none were received.

The Army Corps permit has been pending since March 2012 and without a decision, Dominion argued it would be unable to meet its previous deadline of Dec. 31, 2015.

As part of its review, the Army Corps has sent a memorandum of agreement to the project’s consulting parties, which include the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, regarding mitigation of the project’s effects on cultural properties and the environment.

The consulting parties are now preparing input on the memorandum during a 30-day comment period. A meeting with consulting parties is expected to take place in February.

In a statement, Dominion calls the memorandum a “significant step forward” for the project.

“Dominion’s goal from the beginning has been to find a solution that meets the electrical requirements, is cost effective, and minimizes or mitigates as much as possible, the impact on the historical, cultural and environmental resources in the region,” the statement reads. “We believe this agreement helps accomplish that goal.”

The project, which includes the proposed Surry-Skiffes Creek 500 kilovolt (kV) line, the Skiffes Creek Switching Station, the Skiffes Creek-Whealton 230kV line, would bring power to the Peninsula following the closure of two coal-burning plants at the Yorktown Power Station.

Dominion is seeking an administrative order from the Environmental Protection Agency to keep the plants in operation through June 1, 2017. They are currently set to close this April.

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