State report backs new power line for Dominion

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008

COURTLAND—A report from the State Corporation Commission contends that Dominion Virginia Power should be allowed to build its new high-voltage power lines as planned, despite protests from many of the citizens and communities that would be most directly affected.

Howard P. Anderson, a hearing examiner for the SCC, has delivered recommendations regarding the company’s proposed 500,000-volt electric transmission line, which would run from an existing Dominion substation in Dinwiddie to another existing substation in Suffolk.

The recommendation calls for the new lines to be placed primarily along existing right-of-ways that cut through Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex, Southampton and Isle of Wight counties and the City of Suffolk.

Southampton and Isle of Wight county governments had generally opposed the new transmission lines but asked that they be buried if they were found to be necessary or, at the least, routed so that they shared right-of-ways with the company existing high-tension lines passing through those counties.

In a report completed in May, Anderson summarized the testimony from several public hearings and made recommendations based on the comments that were presented and the company’s application.

He wrote that the company had demonstrated there would be a need for the new lines beginning in 2011 to support the growing power demands of customers in Hampton Roads.

He called the request for underground lines &uot;unreasonable from cost and reliability perspectives.&uot;

The SCC is expected to issue its response to the recommendations by June 13.