Dominion wants your help to connect its Virginia Beach wind farm to the power grid. There are 6 options.
Dominion Energy Virginia is seeking public feedback and advice about linking its planned wind farm, 27 miles off the Virginia Beach shore, to the 500 kilovolt backbone of its statewide power grid at the Fentress substation on Centerville Turnpike in Chesapeake.
The power company has part of the route nailed down: the 27 miles of underwater cable to a landing point at the state military reservation at Camp Pendleton. It also has proposed an underground route through the southernmost reaches of Naval Air Station Oceana, to comply with regulations restricting structures near airfields, which the Navy must still review.
Its research into what’s on the ground, in terms of neighborhoods, wetlands, wildlife and historic resources has led it to six options for the final roughly 15 miles to the Fentress station.
“We can look at maps and desktop it, but it’s not until we talk to people that we’ll really understand these alternatives,” said Kevin Curtis, Dominion’s vice president, electric transmission.
The company is mailing information fliers to people in the area and has set up a website with detailed mapping of the routes. The website allows views to click on specific points and comment.
Curtis said Dominion does not have an early favorite.
The project involves three separate 230 kilovolt lines that would run parallel to each other along a single corridor. Overhead portions would require three sets of towers.
Five routes would run along the never-built Southeast Parkway, now an open space corridor through the most densely populated neighborhoods between Oceana and an area southwest of Princess Anne Road, between the Virginia Beach National Golf Course and the Princess Anne Athletic Complex. Much of the route would also follow an existing transmission line.
One option for one of these routes would be to bury the lines for a stretch. That could create much more disruption during construction and mean they were costlier to install and repair than running lines overhead but would mean that portion of the lines would not be visible.
One alternative for these five lines would run west along Dam Neck Road, before cutting south through some open land to a mid-point on the Southeast Parkway corridor.
From the open space between the golf course and athletic complex:
the route that included an underground portion along the Southeast Parkway and another was entirely on towers along that corridor would head southwest to connect with the an existing transmission line to the Fentress station
two routes would head south, following an existing transmission line, before branching off on the northeast side of the North Landing river. At that point, one route would skirt the northern boundary of the Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, while the other would swing south to avoid crossing the field.
one route that had followed the Southeast Parkway corridor and the route had run along Dam Neck Road for a while would head south to cross the intracoastal waterway, and then follow it west until reaching a existing transmission line that connected to the Fentress station.
Dominion is aiming to propose a preferred route and alternatives, when it asks the State Corporation Commission this fall for approval.
“There’s no point in a transmission line if there’s no offshore wind project, and no point in offshore wind if we can’t deliver it to the grid,” Curtis said.
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