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Project FAQs

It’s a 7.7-mile electric transmission line across the James River from the Surry switchyard to a new Skiffes Creek switching station in James City County. The project ensures reliable power to the Peninsula from cleaner energy sources. This will reduce carbon and other emissions, and will improve air quality for the 600,000 people who live, work and visit the Peninsula.

The project is about keeping the lights on for 600,000 people who live and work on the Peninsula, especially on the hottest and coldest days of the year. Without this project, the Peninsula faced power shortages and the potential for rolling blackouts when the Yorktown units were unavailable. Service to homes and businesses, the federal government and industrial and military customers is supported by the electric transmission grid and these same customers rely on Dominion Energy’s transmission infrastructure to deliver reliable energy.

Now that it’s energized, the Skiffes Creek project will dramatically improve the reliability of the electric transmission system for our customers on the Peninsula. We have a very robust transmission grid across Dominion Energy, and the transmission system on the Peninsula should be as reliable as the rest of the Dominion Energy transmission grid.

Risks of rotating outages are always possible on a transmission grid, but the risk of rotating outages on the Peninsula should be no greater than other areas across Dominion Energy’s transmission grid.

It will support cleaner energy and cleaner air for the Peninsula. Dominion Energy will be able to retire two coal-fired generation units at Yorktown and reduce reliance on an oil-fired unit with this new transmission line in place. This will reduce carbon and other emissions each year and power the Peninsula using cleaner energy.

The plan is to retire the two coal units in March once all of the final checks on the Skiffes project are complete.

The oil unit can be used to help meet the energy needs of the Peninsula when needed. However, the operation of this unit is limited by other environmental regulations. As stated in our most recent IRP (Integrated Resource Plan), the Yorktown oil-fired unit could be potentially retired by 2022.

Dozens of experts considered numerous alternatives to bring clean power to the Peninsula—electrical engineers, environmental specialists, the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Virginia Supreme Court and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They looked at solar, wind, and natural gas options, underground gas and electric transmission lines, and even retooling aging coal units at Yorktown Power Station. The facts consistently proved these concepts wouldn’t work. They were more impactful on the environment, unable to meet projected needs and federal reliability standards, or would cost too much and take too long to meet power needs once the coal units at Yorktown Power Station are closed. The Skiffes Creek project is the best option to power the Peninsula, with the least environmental impact and lowest costs to customers.