The Loudoun Board of Supervisors and county staff are closely monitoring the process conducted by the Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) PJM Interconnection, which has included consideration of proposals to improve a portion of the nation’s power grid to prepare for growing demand in Virginia and Maryland. PJM is the RTO charged by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with coordinating the sale and movement of electricity in designated states, including Virginia.
Following a review of 72 proposals for addressing electricity needs over the past ten months, the Board of Managers for PJM selected a number of proposals during its December 11, 2023, meeting. The proposals are intended to resolve electric transmission reliability constraints in the PJM region, which includes all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia. PJM will designate developers to site the facilities, determine routes and construct the projects.
Several entities won approval to construct improvements to existing facilities or the addition of new high-voltage transmission lines as ways to improve the reliability of the regional power grid. At least one of the chosen proposals calls for new transmission lines that are proposed to traverse portions of western Loudoun.
In Virginia, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) must approve any proposed high-voltage transmission lines prior to construction. While the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has no formal role in the approval process, the county will serve as a “referral agency” for any proposals within the county. In addition, the SCC will hold public hearings for those proposals, during which county officials, local organizations and members of the public will be able to offer comments.
No final decisions have been made regarding the future location of the high-voltage transmission line corridor proposed in western Loudoun. The multistep process includes a review by Loudoun County during which the county will evaluate proposals for conformance with the land use, environmental and heritage resources policies of the Loudoun County 2019 Comprehensive Plan.
Read more in PJM’s December 11, 2023 news release, which includes a list of projects proposed in Loudoun County.
# # #