To satisfy the energy needs of new data center customers, Dominion Energy is continuing the infrastructure development process of building major transmission lines, substations and power linkages. The most recent of these projects is a combination of two projects known as Twin Creeks to Apollo and Aspen to Golden — a multi-part project that will construct a series of transmission lines and substations. Five substations are currently planned, with two locations for where the group of substations could be placed. Transmission lines are slated to run along Route 7 with two primary route options.
Virginia State Code mandates that Dominion Energy must provide service to new customers within their service area. We acknowledge that Dominion Energy has a variety of challenging constraints to provide power to areas in eastern Loudoun, and that this project is a component of collateral impacts caused by poor land use planning decisions that did not adequately account for utility corridors to accommodate growing community needs.
It is important to note that, depending on which substation grouping is chosen, many of the proposed substations along Goose Creek will likely require special exceptions as part of the land development process. There will be opportunities for the public to provide comments to Loudoun County staff, Planning Commissioners and Board of Supervisors on the site plans, including the location of substations.
As a state scenic river, Goose Creek supports vital wildlife habitat. Loudoun Wildlife does not support the construction of substations or transmission lines adjacent to, or within, floodplains and riparian areas. Negative impacts to our valuable natural assets such as Goose Creek and Broad Run should be avoided
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Perspective
On the eastern side: The blue line more closely follows the corridor along Loudoun County Parkway to reach the Golden substation. This route would have fewer impacts to Broad Run’s floodplain, and the wildlife corridor surrounding it, by having fewer impacts to contiguous habitat and tree cover within, and adjacent to, the Broad Run floodplain.
On the western side: We have concerns about construction of transmission lines and substations in close proximity to Goose Creek and the no-build scenic buffer along this state scenic river. Goose Creek and its associated buffer provide valuable wildlife habitat, and the impacts of tree clearing, potential for invasive species introduction, noise and other negative impacts of this proposed project are worrisome. The orange transmission line route option and light green substation location option endanger this valuable natural resource.
We share concerns with other community members of the impacts to the heritage and archeological site of the African American Burial Ground for the Enslaved at Belmont on the southeast corner of Route 7 and Belmont Ridge Road. This important site would be negatively impacted by the blue route option that would run along the south side of Route 7.
How to get involved?
- Dominion has hosted open house events to further discuss the project and inform the community. A virtual open house was held June 22, and an in-person open house was held June 29th. At these community meetings, Dominion staff outlined the need for the projects, how they connect to each other and preliminary plans and route options. Also at these meetings, Dominion announced the new substation grouping option for the placement of the substations and connecting transmission lines. The new substation grouping has been uploaded to Dominion’s GeoVoice platform, but the transmission lines connecting to the new option are not yet reflected. These new locations would have less harmful impact to wildlife than the original placements because they are placed farther from Goose Creek. Please check back for the maps once they have been released.
- Comments regarding the project will be accepted via GeoVoice. Further information on the project and access to GeoVoice can be found on the Dominion Energy Project page.
- Once Dominion Energy submits their application to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) there will be multiple public comment periods, and we will provide updates as that schedule is announced.