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The Idylwood Substation Rearrangement Project proposes to rebuild the existing Idylwood Substation at Shreve Road, originally built in the late 1950s, in order to support growing capacity and projected reliability concerns in the region. The proposed enhancements will provide seamless, reliable power to Fairfax County, the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax and support the energy needs of the Metrorail.

View our Idylwood Substation at Shreve Road proposed permanent wall designs.

Milestones

  • August 2020 – Final design selections for the future substation wall are available to view here.

  • March 17, 2020 – Community Informational Meeting CANCELLED due to coronavirus.
  • April 11, 2019 – Informational meeting to discuss upcoming transformer work and overall project status. View Presentation.
  • September 12, 2017 – Fairfax County Board of Supervisors vote unanimously to approve Special Exception Amendment
  • September 8, 2017 – SCC issues final order
  • August 9, 2017 – SCC issues Hearing Examiner's Report
  • July 5, 2017 – Staff Report

Benefits

Dominion Energy's substation project will:

  • comply with mandatory NERC Reliability Standards,
  • help strengthen the electrical grid,
  • largely utilize existing substation footprint and
  • prepare the substation to meet expected growth & demand for the next 10+ years

In February and May 2015, respectively, the Fairfax Board of Supervisor’s and the County Planning Commission approved Dominion Energy’s application to remodel its existing Idylwood Substation at Shreve Road.

After several meetings within the community, Dominion Energy’s project team has been able to incorporate a number of modifications based on community input. The following highlights many of those changes:

  • Dominion Energy has achieved the full 35-foot screening/buffer adjacent to Shreve Road
  • An area of existing trees along Shreve Road has been maintained
  • Dominion Energy has achieved the full 50-foot screening/buffer adjacent to nearly all homes along Holly Manor Drive (buffer areas towards the front of subdivision at the intersection with Shreve Road could not achieve full 50-feet due to substation operation constraints)
  • All backbones have lowered to 75-feet from 95-feet in height
  • Taller proposed vegetation has been added in the corner of the site near the Holly Crest entrance. This area is not underneath overhead transmission lines and thus can feature some taller trees
  • More robust landscaping areas have been added adjacent to the southern substation property line
  • The back lower yard future expansion has been removed from the application

Our crews are committed to working safely and courteously in your neighborhood and will utilize signage and flagmen during our work hours. We appreciate your patience as we work to improve reliability and service in your area.

This work is separate from activities associated with the proposed expansion project, which is still under review for approval with Fairfax County.

  • June 2018 - June 2018 Sheeting and shoring process to begin near Shreve Road in order to build a safe foundation for construction work. Metal sheeting will be driven into the ground. Construction for this phase of work is scheduled to last approximately three-to-four weeks.
  • May/June 2018 - Fencing work on the southwest side of the substation near the right of way should be complete by end of June 2018. Fence fabric design and installation will take place thereafter and will last approximately one month.
  • April 2018 - Vault excavation for switchgear enclosure (will last several months); High bus foundations – tentative start in early April, several months duration
  • Late March - Rough grading along Shreve Road (grading to re-start in right of way following transmission structure removal in July)
  • March 2018 - Construction fence & fabric installed
  • March 2018 - Remaining sound panels – should be fully completed
  • Late February/Early March 2018 - Tree trimming along right of way to begin
  • Late February/Early April 2018 - Starting work on transmission structure foundations; crews returning in June/July for completion of third structure; two existing structures removed in that area during this April-July timeframe
  • November 2017Pre-construction Activities Postcard
  • Late Fall/March 2017 - Distribution work continues, primarily on the western side of the substation. Fourth phase of distribution project should be completed in late March.
  • Feb 2017-March 2017 - Temporary sound panels installed
  • April 2016 - We anticipate that the bulk of the remaining trees along Shreve Road that will need to be cleared for the larger transmission project, will be removed by the May/ June 2016 time-frame, following substation site plan approval. Proposed landscaping will be installed thereafter. Construction hours will run between 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. through August 30th, weather permitting.
  • Dec. 2015/Jan. 2016 - Between February 2nd – 15th, gradual tree clearing will begin along the Shreve Road side of the substation associated with this distribution work. Any trees cleared will be outside of the “tree save” section (highlighted below), that was shown and approved as part of the Substation Special Exception to Fairfax County.
  • April 2015 - Dominion Energy began to relocate electric distribution lines in and around the Idylwood Substation at Shreve Road and Holly Manor Drive; this work will continue through the end of June 2015. Our crews are committed to working safely and courteously in your neighborhood, and will utilize signage and flagmen during our Monday – Friday, 9:30a.m. – 2:30p.m. work hours along Shreve Road. 
  • February 7, 2014 - Dominion Energy submitted a formal special exception use permit with the Fairfax County Planning Department to complete expansion and rebuild plans at the substation. Both Dominion Energy and the County will send out notifications alerting neighbors of the public hearings associated with the application later in the year.
  • January 2014 - Beginning in mid-January, you may see Dominion Energy employees or contractors in and around the substation performing preliminary work related to this project. These “pre-construction” activities may include:
    • Trimming/removal of vegetation/trees along Shreve Road by qualified arborists,
    • Flagging or staking along the roadway and around the substation, and
    • Pole/structure evaluation.

For more information about pre-construction activities, view our pre-construction brochure.

Overview & Project Description

The existing Idylwood Substation at Shreve Road is situated on a 7.15 acre lot near the corner of Shreve Road and Holly Manor Drive. The existing equipment footprint is 3.99 acres. The proposed equipment footprint is 2.27 acres - resulting in a new footprint that would be 1.72 acres smaller than what exists today.

Due to the limited space at the site, Dominion Energy plans to invest in Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) technology at the site. By utilizing GIS technology, Dominion Energy will be able to largely utilize our existing footprint while modernizing the facility to meet area demand, while minimizing impact to surrounding neighbors

Photo Simulations

Photos 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.

In February 2014, Dominion Energy submitted a Special Exception Permit application to Fairfax County’s Planning Department for review and approval of the Idylwood Substation redesign and received approval from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on May 12, 2015. Please be advised that Dominion Energy will be filing a Special Exception Amendment (SEA) with Fairfax County. The primary purpose of this SEA will be to incorporate the construction high bus[1] into the approved plans and approval documents. The configuration of the other components of the substation that have been previously approved by Fairfax County will stay the same. As with other components of the governing land use approvals, this SEA process will provide additional certainty and predictability by defining the location and configuration of the construction high bus. Dominion Energy is currently coordinating with the County on necessary authorization to commence grading and stormwater management work on the site to reduce the total duration of the construction time line.

Due to certain recent developments in state regulation of transmission-voltage projects, and based on guidance from the Staff of the state regulatory body, the State Corporation Commission of Virginia (SCC), Dominion Energy is preparing to submit an application for the project to the SCC for review and approval in coordination with the SEA process. In its review, the SCC must confirm the need and approve a project that meets the need and reasonably minimizes adverse impact on the scenic assets, historic districts and environment of the area concerned, with formal involvement of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, SCC Staff and other interested parties. There will be opportunities for the public to participate during the SCC review process, which may last six months or possibly more. I have included with this letter a flow chart identifying when those opportunities occur during a typical transmission line proceeding. After Dominion Energy’s application is filed, the SCC will issue an order scheduling procedural dates, which will be made available on the project’s dom.com website and the SCC site, www.scc.virginia.gov. The Company will provide a description in its SCC application of the local approvals already obtained or in process in parallel. 

We are continuing our review with County staff to determine what work can continue at the substation site during the parallel SCC and SEA review processes to ensure continued service reliability and timely completion of the project.

Timeline

  • TBD — Target date to complete substation remodel will be provided within 90 days of receiving all permits.
  • Fall 2023 — De-energize and remove temporary high bus structures
  • June 2018 — Sheeting and shoring process to begin near Shreve Road in order to build a safe foundation for construction work. Metal sheeting will be driven into the ground. Construction for this phase of work is scheduled to last approximately three-to-four weeks.
  • May/June 2018 — Fencing work on the southwest side of the substation near the right of way should be complete by end of June 2018. Fence fabric design and installation will take place thereafter and will last approximately one month.
  • Feb/March 2018 — Sound fence and temporary construction equipment put in place
  • Jan 11, 2018 — Pre-construction walk-thru 
  • Winter 2018/2019 — energize temporary high bus
  • July 19, 2017 — Special Exception Amendment hearing - Fairfax County Government Center
  • June 27, 2017 — Evidentiary hearing, 10:00am., SCC
  • June 13, 2017 — Company rebuttal testimony and exhibit
  • June 2, 2017 — Public Comments Due
  • May 10, 2017 — hearing will convene as scheduled to receive public witness' testimony
  • April 21, 2017 — Public Comments
  • April 3, 2017 — Local public hearing will convene as scheduled in Falls Church, VA
  • March 15, 2017 — Notices of Participation
  • March 31, 2017 — Proof of Notice
  • March 1, 2017 — Public and Gov't Official Notice
  • Jan/Feb 2017 — Rough Grading Plan submitted to Fairfax County
  • Jan 12, 2017 — Dominion Energy files application with the VA State Corporation Commission (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7)
  • Jan 2017 — Submit Application to VA State Corporation Commission
  • Dec 2016 — Special Exception Amendment submitted to Fairfax County
  • Spring 2016 — Community outreach and notification of transmission construction start
  • Winter 2014 — Distribution work begins unrelated to transmission application
  • Fall 2014 — Submit application for local approval to construct
  • Summer 2013 — Public outreach, letters, website, community meeting
  • June 2013 — Outreach to state and local officials

FAQs

GIS technology is specialized equipment used in areas where expansion of existing equipment is limited. By utilizing GIS technology, Dominion Energy will be able to largely utilize our existing footprint while modernizing the facility to meet area demand.
Due to the interconnected nature of the electric transmission grid, all power users in the area rely on Dominion Energy's transmission infrastructure to deliver reliable power. The enhanced substation will provide increased operational flexibility and greater system reliability. As an area resident, this means fewer outages, and shorter durations should an outage occur.

In its review, the SCC must confirm the need and approve a project that resolves the need and reasonably minimizes adverse impact on the scenic assets, historic districts and environment of the area concerned, with formal involvement of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, SCC Staff and other interested parties. There will be opportunities for the public to participate during the SCC review process, which may last six months or more.

Yes. At Dominion Energy we strive to be good neighbors. The company, at its expense, will repair any private roads damaged by Dominion Energy or its contractors during construction or during future maintenance. In addition, we will reimburse property owners for damage, and repair or replace fences or gates if we damage them.
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