ShareThis Page
Judges: Power line not necessary |

Judges: Power line not necessary

| Friday, August 22, 2008 12:00 a.m

Allegheny Energy Inc.’s $1.2 billion, high-voltage power transmission line project isn’t needed, two state Public Utility Commission Administrative Law Judges said today.

After reviewing thousands of pages of testimony and comments from numerous public hearings, Judges Mark A. Hoyer and Michael A. Nemec in a 364-page document said Allegheny Energy, through its transmission line subsidiary TrAILCo had “failed to carry the burden of truth” for the entire 240-mile project.

“Based on our review of the entire record, we have concluded that little or no need for reinforcement in the Prexy service area presently exists,” the judges wrote.

The Prexy segment of the so-called Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line includes a new 500,000-volt line that runs north from the West Virginia line into Washington County. Three new 138,000-volt lines also are part of the Pennsylvania portion of the massive project, with all transmission lines combined crossing some 53 miles of the state.

The major portion of the project would be the massive 500,000-volt line, running from the West Virginia border, through West Virginia, to Loudoun County, Va., about 35 miles from Washington, D.C.

“Granting approval of the 502 Junction (at the West Virginia border) to Loudoun segment at this juncture rewards a lack of foresight and proper maintenance, and has policy implications for the location of future generation that should be carefully considered before any further action is taken,” the judges wrote.

The judges further chided Allegheny Energy/TrAILCo for not considering nontransmission alternatives, and questioned the modeling used to support the “alleged” need for the 502 Junction to Loudoun segment.

The judges, who made their recommendations to the PUC commissioners, also rejected TrAILCo’s filing and evidence concerning route selection and siting for the transmission lines.

“We conclude that TrAILCo has not complied with this commission’s requirements for route selection and siting,” the judges said.

Parties in the case now have an opportunity to file exceptions to the decision and then replies to those exceptions, said PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher. Exceptions are due Sept,. 10 and replies are due Sept. 22.

A vote by the commission will follow sometime after that, Kocher said.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.