Sunday, June 26, 2016

Breaking Point?

Looks like life in Potomac Yard is getting a little sporty. This was up on the internal Nextdoor site the other day. Looks like the folks that were posting this have been banished. Scary when people say they've hit their breaking point.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PY HOA Annual Meeting Notes

Tuesday Nov 9th, 2014

Call to order just after 7pm.

Roll Call
-Adam Nelson looked at the audience and decided we probably had a quorum

Proof of Notice of Meeting
-The board said they sent notice

Introduction of the Board
-All three members are from Pulte

Oakville Triangle Project
-Discussion of Project went from 7:10pm to 7:40pm
-looking at mixed use development: retail, hotel, and condos/town homes
-looking at building heights of 90' along Rte 1

Dominion VA Power Report
-Deadline for comments extended. Go to and put "glee" in search box to find contact info
-Also send comments to the city
-position is against the overhead option, the East Custis and Mainline options.
-Recommend the options along the train tracks and Potomac Ave to minimize impact.

Announcement of Committees
-Budget, Communications, and Social committees were announced by board
-Recommendation from the floor to form a grounds committee made and accepted by board
-Contact Carol Hanas to volunteer

Owner/Resident Inquiries
-significant complaints about landscaping
-significant concerns about snow management and using salt vs sand
-concerns about parking and the need for zones with the apartments coming in. Board is hesitant to act with city for zones 
-concerns about the lack of visibility needed to see oncoming traffic to turn right onto Potomac Ave due to parked cars
-concerns about a lack of sensors on traffic signals along Potomac
-concerns about parking for the park and children in the street. 

Adjourned at approx 8:40pm

Sounds like Giant may be complete by the end of summer/fall 2015
Expect most of the construction of condos/towns north of Monroe to be complete late 2015
Official HOA website is

What did I miss?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

230,000 volt power line Community Outreach Event

Dominion power held a "community outreach" event this evening in Alexandria. I was impressed that they had 3 police officers there, just in case.

I really wasn't hoping to play stump the chump, but here are a couple highlights of my unanswered questions:

Dominion: "How did you not know hundreds of new homes were going in to Potomac Yard, when you installed the power to said homes?"

Dominion: "When you looked at installing power for hundreds of new homes in a green field build, why didn't you look at installing a major interconnect when you could have done it as part of the build instead of ripping up streets that were put in two years ago?"

Dominion: "Why didn't you coordinate to put this under the bus lanes that were built THIS YEAR?"

Dominion: When Dominion representative said community outreach was extensive "Well, I live on one of the proposed routes and my home has a street number on the front. How did I just hear about this last week? You couldn't have sent the summer interns to walk the routes, collect the addresses, and send notification?" Dominion's response, "No, we don't do that."

Dominion: "If you haven't done a cost estimate for the option to put the line underwater in the Potomac, how could you possibly put that forward as an option.... NEXT MONTH?"

Dominion: "Why aren't you working on demand reduction efforts? Why aren't you part of the Nest demand response network?"

Dominion: "How will the Metro bridge going across the CSX tracks interact with that overhead line option running down said tracks?"

PJM: When PJM told me the new 230,000 volt line is a result of reliability legislation "Oh, so you rely on the government to tell you what adequate reliability is, and you couldn't forecast growth in this area 10 years ago?"

PJM: "If you have 10 year growth estimates, why don't you align major distribution projects with major build projects in the area?"

PJM pointed me to their website for data around what was driving consumption. I asked specifically what the drivers were for increased consumption, and only could get generalized answers such as, more homes, and more businesses.

Interestingly when I went to PJM's website when I got home, I found the original white paper from Feb of this year. Page four is below:

What I found interesting here is the confusing language regarding where the problem is located.
Single contingency (NERC category B) and several N-1-1 contingency overloads were identified in the northern Virginia portion of the Dominion system adjacent to the Washington, D.C metropolitan area in the PEPCo transmission zone.
The presentation on the website shows overloading in the segment between Glebe and South Carlyle.

Found HERE

My question is if there's already a line between Glebe and South Carlyle, why not lay additional capacity where that line is already located? Why not put in an additional 230kv line between Glebe and South Carlyle in the same infrastructure and then connect South Carlyle to Jefferson to Potomac River?

There is already a line there. There is no transformer station going in between Glebe and Potomac River, so the line doesn't offer greater flexibility, and Dominion already has the land and lines laid along a route. Why not just add more capacity along that route, and make the much shorter new build connection to Potomac River station from there?? There would also be the benefit of connecting more capacity to the N Alexandria substation.

Here's a close up:
Hot Spot Identifies Optimal Route

Dominion, see that red line where demand is exceeding capacity, and you already have a line in place? Just add more capacity along that route. It gives you more long term flexibility when you include N Alexandria, South Carlyle, Jefferson St, and Potomac River stations all on the increased capacity line. Why would you not want the new interconnection to connect multiple substations along the route?

Oh, and the data center comments that City Council has brought up... Yeah, they're in the PJM white paper. Fun that Dominion is saying that data centers aren't what is driving the demand increases.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

230kv Transmission lines coming?

Dominion Power will be seeking permission to run a 230kv (230,000 volt) transmission line from the Glebe substation (located near four mile run) to the Potomac River substation (near Slater's LN and GW Parkway).

There is an open house coming up on October 1st. The details can be found at the Dominion website here.

Alexandria Times has a good write up on the issue here.
Potential Routes
Per the article, Dominion hasn't decided if it is going to recommend aerial lines or underground lines to the State Corporation Commission (SCC).

Doing a little research looking for what Dominion uses to determine whether to recommend overhead or underground lines, I found they recommended underground for the Radnor Heights 230kv project in Arlington. The project details can be found here.

I pulled the filing report from the Radnor Heights project that can be found on the SCC website's docket search feature case PUE-2010-00004. Part 1 of 8 discusses what Dominion uses to make the recommendation for underground in this case, and provides a little discussion. 

From Paragraph 4: 
"Based on the Company's experience with the much higher cost, reduced overall reliability (due to much longer times required to restore underground cables to operation) and operating problems of underground construction, the Company historically has constructed its transmission lines underground only if no feasible overhead route is available, and the Commission and Virginia Supreme Court have consistently upheld the Company's engineering judgment."
Essentially they're saying that the SCC needs to go with their engineering judgement because the Virginia Supreme Court consistently upholds the recommendation Dominion makes.

The paragraph goes on to clarify:
It is not feasible to construct the new transmission lines proposed in this application overhead because a new overhead line route is not available due to the densely developed, urban nature of the area, which contains numerous national monuments and historic resources. 
The question for the Potomac Yard portion of this is will they judge us based on expected density, or current density. Also, will they look at the rail property as an easy way to string high power lines down the rail lines?

This is what we'd be talking about:

When you combine it with rail, it looks more like this:

This is something that we need to keep our eye on, and the folks over in Potomac Greens need to be aware that the high power lines might be coming through their back yard as well.

Hopefully we can get people to attend the meeting on October 1st from 5-8pm at the Mount Vernon School community room 2601 Commonwealth Avenue.

Here's the project page on Alexandria Government's website. The City of Alexandria is addressing this as an "underground transmission line" proposal, but per Dominion, and the Alexandria Times article, they could still recommend an aerial solution. The City Manager letter back to Dominion from June was pretty well worded, and encourages Dominion to look at other routes, and calls out some of the long term impacts of underground lines.

I hope the nearby community keeps an eye on this, as the impacts could include the development of the west side of Rte 1, along with the view between Potomac Yard and Potomac Green.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Exchange at Potomac Yard

Nice write up in Red Brick Town.

Work seems to be progressing nicely, and the buildings are looking quite nice.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hose bib on brick

So, I haven't been able to find an answer about the best way to secure a hose bib to brick and thought I'd bring it up here.

My hose bib isn't secured to the brick at all, and it just has what they called "hand putty" sealing it off from the elements. I've started to notice the "hand putty" cracking, and I can feel the valve twisting on the pipe in the wall when I turn it on and off.

I'm guessing this isn't the right way to do this, but I can't find a solution to the problem. Has anyone else figured out a better way to secure a hose bib to brick after construction has completed?

Cracking "hand putty"
Something like this would have been helpful during construction, but that ship has sailed.

Monday, June 2, 2014

2401 Conoy

Looks like 2401 Conoy St will be on the market shortly. I think it's a condo, but not sure if it's the upstairs or downstairs unit.

2401 Conoy St