SCC approves transmission line in Northern Virginia

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Jessica Sabbath

The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Virginia’s portion of a controversial power line on Tuesday, ruling it is needed to provide reliable electric service.

The commission ruled that the power line, which would run through northern counties in Virginia, met state standards and should be approved.

Many environmental and historic preservation groups opposed the line, arguing the need for the power line could be avoided with generating plants and conservation programs.

The SCC acknowledged these opponents in its press release Tuesday: “We are indeed sympathetic to the opponents’ position that planning for transmission, generation and conservation should be done in an integrated and holistic process, in order to arrive at the most rational and cost-effective plan to meet Virginia’s future load growth and transmission reliability needs.

“The reality is, however, that the law and facts applicable to this matter do not enable us to use a transmission line case [to initiate such a planning exercise] and then use the result of that exercise as the legal basis to deny an application … when a clear reliability need has been shown and the proposed transmission line is an acceptable option under Virginia statutes to meet that need.”

The proposed 240-mile power line would run from southwestern Pennsylvania, through West Virginia to Virginia. The Virginia portion of the project is pushed by Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Co. and Dominion Virginia Power.

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