Dominion to expand substationPublished 9:41pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Dominion Virginia Power plans to invest $21.5 million to expand and restructure its substation on Hosier Road if it gets approval from City Council next month.
The Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended approval for the project, which would install new equipment and replace aged equipment at the station, which serves as a transmission hub for Suffolk and cities to the east. City Council will hear about the project April 17.
The expansion would take place on a third of an acre that is already part of the property. The entire 12.5-acre facility also would be renovated, Dominion’s Elizabeth Harper said during the public hearing.
“The whole look will be a little bit more streamlined,” she said. “All of that very old structural steel look is coming down. It won’t be as crowded-looking as that.”
Harper said the expansion and renovation would not result in outages to customers. In response to a question from Commissioner William Goodman, Harper said the improvements would be unlikely to speed up power restoration after major weather events but would make the everyday power supply more reliable.
Goodman expressed concern about a row of houses nearby.
“I’m surprised we still have some houses out there,” he said.
James Baker, who lives in the house closest to the power station, said Tuesday he isn’t bothered by the station and doesn’t mind the expansion. He has lived for eight years at his home, which is so close to the fence around the substation he can almost touch both at the same time.
In an unrelated vote, commissioners also approved new bylaws that, among other things, prohibit unsigned correspondence from being presented to the commission. The group had struggled with the topic in recent years and finally decided not to consider anonymous missives expressing opinions about projects.
In other business at the meeting, commissioners unanimously recommended approval for a conditional use permit to allow St. Paul Baptist Church to operate a daycare at its building on Lincoln Avenue.