For more than three years Haymarket residents have fought the Haymarket 230kV Line. Thought the SCC found that the Haymarket 230kV Line and Substation project was necessary for Dominion Power to comply with mandatory reliability standards, the community and Supervisor Pete Candland maintained that a single customer was driving the need for the line. Dominion Power and the SCC maintained that the Haymarket project would permit Dominion Power to maintain reliable electric service to its other customers and support overall growth in the area.
Gainesville District Supervisor Candland and Protect Prince William community group maintained that the increased energy demand is not for future growth of the Haymarket area and the Rural Crescent of Prince William County, but rather for a single customer with the equivalent demand for power of 700,000 homes. This entire project was necessary to deliver power to a data centers for Amazon. Dominion and the SCC state that this will also strengthen electric reliability for the local area by providing a new source of power and a double circuit line or "loop" provides a networked source, but the locating of a data center outside of the industrial corridor is what drove the need for the project. The Rural Crescent is not a growth area, or at least not intended to be.
Last spring the SCC determined that the Railroad and Carver Road routes both met the statutory criteria, but that the Railroad Route is preferable. Their justification is that these options will "minimize adverse impacts.” The Railroad Route was the only route that impacts zero residences within 200 feet of the centerline, though the power towers wouldl clearly be visible from nearby homes and homes 500 feet from the center line could be impacted. The heavily wooded area along this route will provide significant screening reducing the visual impacts of the line. However the woods and hydrology will be irreparably impacted.
After last year’s ruling by the SCC Protect Prince William filed a legal motion that the power-line was not necessary because the data center project was still under review by state authorities. Now, Dominion Power has agreed to pursue the I-66 Hybrid Route, with 3.2 miles of the line buried underground and the community will drop their legal opposition to the project.
Now Virginians will pay increased power rates to protect the property values of existing residents and deliver cheaper power to Amazon and other data centers. There is little value to having these energy hogs here where we lack the infrastructure to support them. Nonetheless, thank you to Delegate Tim Hugo and Supervisor Candland who kept fighting for our community.