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Dominion makes application for “Dahlgren Project” line

 


press above image to see detailed maps of proposed and alternate routes.

Dominion Power submitted its selected route and alternate route to the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for its planned 230-kilovolt transmission line to run through King George.

The application was submitted for the “Dahlgren Project” to the SCC on Oct. 26, with letters also sent by the power company to potential affected landowners.

In addition to the increasing power needs at the base, the new power line is expected to provide additional electrical capacity

to serve the county’s high growth area in Dahlgren and support continued growth and economic development.

Dominion Power’s plan is to construct a new transmission line and connect it to a point along the existing 230-kilovolt line that
runs east-west, roughly parallel to Route 3 (along the north side). The other end of the new line will be at a new substation to be built near B-Gate on Naval Support Facility Dahlgren property.

The letter came from Carla Picard, Electric Transmission Project Communications Manager for Dominion, who also provided the presentation at last week’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Her contact phone number is 804-771-3455.

Picard told Supervisors, “I wanted to share one of the things that we’ve grown to appreciate about King George. That is the plan for managing growth in the growth area while maintaining the scenic, rural, historic character of the county. And so our mission, our obligation is to provide reliable service to our customers, large and small while maintaining that character and minimizing the impact where we can.”

The letter to property owners states, “Based on projections for growth at Naval Support Facility (NSF) Dahlgren and in the surrounding community, Dominion’s planning team determined that the expected electrical load will exceed the capacity of its distribution system, and will require the construction of a new transmission line (known as the Dahlgren Project).”

Picard told Supervisors, “Really what it’s all about at the end of the day can be summed up in one word, and that’s reliability.” She added, “Reliability in a nutshell means fewer service interruptions and shorter durations when they do occur, getting the lights on faster.”

The planned high-power transmission line would extend about 10 miles cutting a swath through the county 120-feet wide, with single steel pole tower facilities carrying the overhead lines about 119 feet off the ground.

Picard said Dominion could co-locate cell antennas on their tower structures. Chairman Joe Grzeika noted, “That is a very important aspect of those, being able to take those.”

Regarding the provision of broadband and cell phone service, Grzeika added, “That’s the only way we are going to be able to reach some of the rural areas.”

SELECTED ROUTE C
The selected and the alternate routes are identical for the northern half of the route. The selected route is the original Route C, with Route B as the alternate route, which branches off and runs south to the existing transmission line on the western side of the southern portion of Route C.

A best effort was made to report on the selected and alternate routes as they appear to be depicted on the Dominion Power map. Residents are likewise urged to provide close scrutiny of the map to learn which property might be affected for each of the two routes.

The selected Route C would tap into the existing transmission line west of Ridge Road (Route 205) and north of Rollins Blvd. where it runs north and east of the Hudson Lane subdivision on the north side of Route 3, across from The Journal Building. The line would continue east-northeast, staying on the west side of US 301 (James Madison Pkwy), crossing Eden Drive (Route 611) and continuing northeast to cross Dawsons Landing Dr, running roughly parallel to US 301. The route would then curve toward the east and cross US 301 just south of Machodoc Creek. It would continue east to run adjacent to most of the length of Berry Wharf Road (Route 615), and then turn to the north to cross Clarence Court and Dahlgren Road (Route 206). The route would then curve around to the east to connect to a new substation facility to be located at the Dahlgren base, at Fence Road, near Commerce Drive.

ALTERNATE ROUTE B
Route B would begin at its southern end by tapping into the existing transmission line to the east of Indiantown Road (Route 610) and south of Locust Dale Lane (Route 612), prior to crossing that road, then crossing Eden Drive (Route 611), prior to connecting up with the route for selected Option C and follow that the rest of the way to the location of the planned substation on the Dahlgren base.

MORE POWER NEEDED
The planned transmission line is intended to boost power to the Dahlgren base and provide additional power benefits to the county by spreading the demand for power over three substations instead of only the current two.

The new line will be only the second transmission line to be constructed in the county. The existing 230-kilovolt transmission line has been in place for decades and roughly parallels Route 3 to the north of it.

The Dahlgren base and the rest of the county are currently fed by two distribution circuits with distribution lines from substations at Arnolds Corner near Routes 3 and 206 in King George, and at Oak Grove near Routes 3 and 205 in Westmoreland.

A CLOSER LOOK
The proposed routes are shown on the Dom.com website and on ours, with both providing the ability to enlarge the view to see the approximate properties to be potentially affected. 

PRESS HERE FOR A SLIDE PRESENTATION
that was provided to the Board of Supervisors at last week’s meeting on Nov. 1. Those slides include maps depicting the existing distribution circuits and the location of future distribution circuits.

TIMELINE
The SCC application process is expected to take about a year or longer. Picard said that a procedural order would be issued by the SCC as early as the end of the month, but could be as late as February 2012.

When that comes out, the SCC begins to accept public comments and is expected to hold a local public hearing in King George. The process by the SCC is expected to be completed in about a year. At that time, Dominion would begin the process of acquisition of easements from affected property owners by compensating landowners up front with one-time payments for the easement rights-of-way.

Following acquisition of easements, clearing of the land would take place with construction of the transmission towers slated to begin in spring 2013. Dominion anticipates project completion in spring 2014.

The SCC has responsibility for determining the need and the route of transmission lines at 138 kV and above in Virginia. The full application is available on Dominion’s project website and as a hard copy at the King George County Planning office, 10549 Courthouse Drive, and at the L.E. Smoot Memorial Library’s temporary location at 8562 Dahlgren Road.

Phyllis Cook

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