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.