Power lines meeting set

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A public meeting set for Thursday will help residents learn more about a new power transmission line proposed to carry electricity between Dominion Virginia Power substations in Suffolk and Chesapeake.

The 14-mile transmission line is needed “to support growing demand for electricity in the region and to continue providing reliable power after we retire our generation plants in the region, including the Chesapeake Energy Center,” said Bonita Harris, a Dominion spokeswoman.

The new line would carry power from the Suffolk substation on Hosier Road, south of downtown, to the Yadkin substation near Interstate 64 in Chesapeake. Construction would start in spring 2014 at the earliest if the State Corporation Commission approves the line.

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Two routes are proposed for the line. Harris said letters were sent to about 600 homes and businesses located within 500 feet of the proposed right of way, inviting them to two open houses.

One was held in Chesapeake on Tuesday night. The Suffolk meeting is set for Thursday at Lakeland High School, 214 Kenyon Road, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“We wanted to make sure the community as a whole understands what we need to do to make sure they have reliable power and get their input,” Harris said.

At the meeting, the public will be able to see maps of the project area, learn about the timeline of the project, find out what possible structures will be used, share feedback and ask questions, Harris said.

Whatever route the new line takes, it will cut through part of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Director Chris Lowie said Monday he has been in communication with Dominion about the project.

Dominion already has some power lines through the swamp, Lowie said, and most of the new line likely will take up the same right of way. However, the right of way will need to be expanded in some places, and new right of way may need to be obtained in others.

For more information on the project, visit www.dom.com/about/electric-transmission/suffolk/index.jsp.