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Board approves expansion of substation

Prince Edward County supervisors have agreed to a special use permit to allow Dominion Virginia Power to expand an existing substation at 115 Merriman Shop Road south of Pamplin.

The energy firm wants to expand the facility on property owned by George and Penny Welch, according to county documents.

Supervisors approved the request on Dec. 8.

“The Pamplin substation has served the community for decades and feeds electric co-ops in the area via tap lines. We have determined that these tap lines have an increased exposure for power outages due to their distance from the substation to the delivery point,” said Dominion spokeswoman Janell Hancock.

“To increase the reliability of these tap lines and protect the customers served, we propose to install additional pieces of equipment (called breakers) inside the substation. This equipment will allow us to segment these power lines, so that we can isolate a problem and reroute power in the event of a power outage.”

To accommodate the new equipment, Hancock said that the fence line of the substation will encompass an additional 1.9 acres along Merriman Shop Road.

“The new equipment is similar to the equipment already inside the substation, and not expected to be visible. It will not increase the background noise within the facility,” she said. “This project is still under development, but as details and information are confirmed, we have planned outreach to the adjacent property owners and stakeholders in the community. Permitting is expected early next year, but construction may not begin until summer. We anticipate that this project will be completed by the end of 2017.”

A substantial buffer of trees and vegetation will remain along the roadway, she said.

The property is currently zoned A-1 agricultural, according to the county.