Warrenton-Wheeler-Gainesville

This Project addresses current and identified future reliability issues associated with the Warrenton Substation in Fauquier County, and the Wheeler and Gainesville Substations in Prince William County. Capacity planning studies show Dominion Energy must expand its facilities by 2017 to continue to serve the area reliably.

Recent

  • 2018 - Target date for completing Remington-Warrenton Rebuild
  • 2018 - Target date for completing Prince William portion of project
  • 2017 - Nov.: Construction to begin on the permanent line from Remington Combustion Turbine to Warrenton

Benefits

  • Increased Reliability
  • Compliance with NERC Standards
  • Ability to handle future anticipated growth

UPDATE: Final permits received from Prince William and Fauquier Counties

February 7, 2017, In a unanimous vote a Special Use Permit was obtained for the Vint Hill Switching Station in Prince William County. This vote was followed by another unanimous vote for a Special Use Permit for the Wheeler Switching Station, also in Prince William County, on February 14, 2017.

March 9, 2017, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors also unanimously voted to issue Dominion Energy a Special Exception Permit for the expansion of the Warrenton Substation.

With the approval of these permits, Dominion Energy has received all necessary permits to construct this important project to help maintain reliable electric service for the area. We would like to thank the Planning Commissions and the Board of Supervisors for their diligence in working with Dominion Energy and the residents of Prince William and Fauquier Counties to review and approve our permit applications. 


Overview

Project Route Overview Map as approved by the SCC

Dominion Energy and Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) have identified current or future reliability issues associated with the Warrenton Substation in Fauquier County, and the Wheeler and Gainesville Substations in Prince William County. Our capacity planning studies show that Dominion Energy must expand its facilities to continue to serve the area reliably and comply with the standards maintained by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).

After more than a year of studies, several different options were evaluated that could resolve the reliability issues. On March 31, 2014, Dominion Energy filed an application with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for approval to rebuild the existing Warrenton line and build new facilities to serve Prince William County.

  • Video overview of the project and options considered.

Photo simulations of the proposed structures along A, B and C routes (Each photo simulation contains a "before" and "after" image. Photo simulations and diagrams provide representational views of proposed electric transmission facilities. These illustrations do not necessarily depict exact structure design or physical placement. All projects are subject to change and to final engineering.):

Project Need

The need for the project is driven by reliability standards for meeting peak demand. A key factor in evaluating the load limitation on a radial (served by one source) transmission line, such as the Warrenton or Wheeler lines, is the distribution load that can be switched to circuits served from other sources. Dominion Energy reliability guidelines, driven by mandatory NERC standards, dictate that load on radial transmission lines without an alternate supply should be limited to approximately 100 megawatts (MW). The load on the existing Warrenton line is projected to exceed 100 MW by 2017. NOVEC's line, while not subject to the same NERC standards, is already exceeding this same 100 MW threshold. To maintain future reliability for its customers, NOVEC is seeking a second source of power. Providing a second, separate source of power to Wheeler will also help relieve the Gainesville Substation, which is also a reliability concern. The in-service target date for this project is fall of 2018.

This growth is occurring in areas served by Dominion Energy, NOVEC, and Rappahannock Electrical Cooperative (REC). REC relies on this transmission line as its primary source of power to serve its customers in this area. NOVEC is also served by Dominion Energy's transmission system. Dominion Energy is obligated to supply power to its new and existing customers, including REC and NOVEC. Conservation measures and demand-side management can reduce demand growth rates, but Dominion Energy does not expect these measures to be sufficient to eliminate the need altogether. Dominion Energy is obligated to be prepared to satisfy the load requirements as they occur and to meet reliability standards.

Community Involvement

Throughout the planning of this project, Dominion Energy and NOVEC have been committed to consulting with stakeholders and the public. The utilities employed a Community Engagement Plan with the goal of obtaining input from stakeholders and the public through open, transparent and comprehensive outreach. Input and feedback received during this process assisted Dominion Energy in the identification of feasible route options for assessment and inclusion in an application to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, filed March 31, 2014.

Dominion Energy hired Natural Resource Group, an environmental and public affairs firm, to help develop and facilitate a comprehensive Community Advisory Group process. With NRG’s help, Dominion Energy and NOVEC organized a series of meetings with community participants to review the project’s purpose and need, discuss routing constraints and opportunities, and plan for broader community feedback through open houses for the public.

Our Community Engagement Plan consisted of four elements:

  • Community leader outreach
  • Community Advisory Group (CAG)
  • Open houses
  • Communications – All documents, presentations, materials and meeting notes will be posted to this project website.

Frequently Asked Questions