Dominion Energy Project: Wishing Star to Mars
To meet heightened energy demand coming from the increase of data centers in the county, Dominion Energy has started the process of building major transmission lines, substations, and infrastructure linkages. The first segment of this multi-year, multi-project expansion includes a new high-voltage transmission line along Broad Run between Northstar Blvd. and Loudoun County Parkway (and beyond). View project area map.
This location is an HOA-created park/open space, known as Broad Run Stream Valley Park on eBird, that consists of meadows, mature forest, forested wetlands, wetlands creation project cells, a new Great Blue Heron rookery, and stormwater ponds that attract interesting shorebirds and waterfowl (including Common Goldeneye — one of the few locations they are spotted in Loudoun each winter). This proposal would further fragment habitat within the Broad Run riparian buffer and floodplain creating more challenges to wildlife and the ecosystem as a whole.
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.
However, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy has grave concerns about this proposal, and we do not support the proposed location of these infrastructure improvements. Our recommendations include:
- Locating the proposed transmission lines along other alternate routes alongside currently built infrastructure to avoid more impacts to green space along Broad Run.
- Avoid building infrastructure within the Broad Run floodplain, minimize traversing the floodplain as much as possible, and locating new transmission lines as far from Broad Run as possible.
- Avoid and minimize the clearing of mature trees within any mature and emerging forests.
- As part of any project, invasive species should be removed, native species should be planted, and a long-term management plan should be created to ensure any land disturbance areas have ecologically valuable habitat created for pollinators and other wildlife.
How to get involved?
- Dominion hosted an Open House to further discuss the project on September 8, 2022. Representatives from Dominion were present to answer questions from the community and go over the design for the towers and the route options.
- Comments regarding the project are still being accepted via GeoVoice. Further information on the project and access to comment can be found here.
- Now that Dominion Energy has submitted their application to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, we anticipate there will be multiple public comment periods. We will provide updates when the schedule is announced.