Transmission line project over James River voted down

Proposed powerline voted down in James City County

JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WVEC) - A blow to Dominion Virginia Power's plans for a switching station across the James River on the Peninsula.

The James City County Planning Commission Wednesday night voted four to two against the Surry-Skiffes Creek project.

Many people are against the project in part because they feel lines across the river would be an eyesore and have a negative impact on the Historic Triangle (Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg).

Dominion argues the power lines are necessary to meet growing demand and without it, the company could have to institute rolling blackouts. Dominion says it will retire coal units at the Yorktown Power Station by April 2017.

Dominion spokeswoman Bonita Billingsley Harris said following the vote, "We had hoped the planning commission would approve our application, but it's not over yet. The good news is they did make a decision instead of differing or denying it. So now the Board of Supervisors is in position to make a decision next month and it has the final say. We hope the members of the Board of Supervisors will allow us to build the switching station because it is necessary in order for us to build the Skiffes Creek project and maintain reliable service for the 600,000 Peninsula residents who depend on it. And the clock is ticking."

The project includes the overhead transmission line and a 230-kilovolt transmission line passing through James City and York counties and the city of Newport News and ending in Hampton. There would be more than a dozen towers to carry the lines, the tallest of which are 295 feet.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to make a final decision next month.


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