Despite a strong civic showing, and support from the Board of Supervisors, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) has ruled against the so-called “Hybrid” route for a 230kV power line to provide electricity to the new Amazon data center. The hybrid route includes stretches of power line that are buried in order to maintain the beauty, safety and environmental quality of life along the pathway. In addition, the SCC has instructed Dominion Power to gain approval from the Board of Supervisors of the so-called Railroad Route (so named because it runs along the existing tracks), and to do so within 60 days — or threaten area taxpayers with the least-appealing route along Carver Road: “The SCC gave DVP 60 days to seek permission from the county authorizing construction of the Railroad Route or provide notice to the Commission that construction of the Railroad Route remains blocked. If DVP remains legally blocked from construction of the Railroad Route, the SCC stated, “… the proposed project would need to be constructed along the Carver Road Route, which we also have found meets the statutory requirements.”
Supervisors have vowed to fight the decision, and, in an election year, they may do just that — if they feel there’s enough voter support. See below primary contacts, and questions:
Supervisor Pete Candland: (703) 792-6195
State Corporation Commission: Press Release
Questions to Ask
- Why is Dominion against the hybrid solution when it will promote reliable power and spur continued growth?
- What are growth estimates and power plans that require this type of development?
- Given the fast growth of the Gainesville/Haymarket area, does it make sense to construct a visual blight in the area that may drive away business, residents and investment?
- What tangible benefits are Haymarket and Gainesville residents getting from the construction of this power line?
- Who’s paying for the implementation of the power line?
- If the SCC has final approval of the route, how do we influence their decision?
- Dominion Power likely wants the least expensive and quickest option. They probably do not really care too much about the neighborhood, your property values or the future of the Haymarket/Gainesville area. They don’t live here. They don’t care.
- The power of our representation is weak. The Board of Supervisors has shown that they will fold in the face of big business; representatives in Richmond are largely providing lip service, and the Town of Haymarket is, well, you know.
- Residents must demand that our representatives stand up and fight back against Dominion Power, consistently and throughout the process, without compromise to our area. Make them bury the lines, at their cost.
Click here for all the latest information about the proposed dropped routes as well as added routes through Gainesville. Key items to read are:
Turns out Haymarket is kind of a popular place. Even Amazon Web Services wants to come here, with a big fat 500,000 sq. ft. data center. That’s according to a rumor published in a recent article in the industry trade publication Data Center Knowledge as well as Prince William Times. Both stories cover the possibility of new and heavy-duty Dominion Power towers lined up like ugly trolls along our beautiful countryside roads and neighborhoods. Those power towers — and the transmission center as well — are, according to the article, intended to carry juice to this rumored data mill, and in doing so will cross into hallowed battlefield ground, touch the Rural Crescent and line our neighborhoods.
On the face of it, the plan fails to respect resident rights and sacrifices the needs of a growing community in order to placate one company when a perfectly suitable industrial area sits nearby — Innovation Park in Manassas. In fact, it may be location that possibly drives the decision behind the center to begin with. Given Loudoun County’s popularity as a data center location, perhaps this Prince William location is simply a cheaper, close alternative — at a location that is not “normally zoned for data center use.”
That’s speculation. What is a fact, however, is that answers are needed. And people. People to stand up and make sure that Dominion Power has smart options that respect the needs of residents, the honor of our past and the beauty of our surroundings. Please make plans to attend the upcoming information center at 7 pm on Monday, January 12 at Battlefield High School.