Rough path for PATH

December 11th, 2009

Difficulties are growing for “backbone” transmission for coal in the east.  Not long ago, Virginia staff had asked the Commission to deny the PATH proposal.  Now, after the hearing ended, after reviewing testimony, staff has again recommended the petition be denied.  This is the project where Maryland tossed it out because the applicant was not a public service corporations.  If one end of the project is taken out, it’s a project going nowhere.


West Virginia declined to dismiss the application, and instead has taken action, or taken inaction:

W.Va. delays power line decision until February 2011.

Now it’s time for Virginia’s reality orientation.

Va. staff again recommends denial of PATH project

Originally published December 11, 2009

By Ed Waters Jr.
News-Post Staff

A project to put a high-voltage transmission line across three states is facing another obstacle in its path.

On Wednesday, the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s staff again recommended the denial of the proposed PATH system in the Old Dominion.

After reviewing testimony on the issue, the SCC staff is advising the commission, which oversees utilities in the state, to turn down the proposal from Allegheny Energy.

The Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline is a nearly 300-mile, $1.8 billion project beginning in West Virginia, crossing Virginia and ending in southern Frederick County at a proposed new substation. It is a joint project of Allegheny Energy and American Electric Power.

In November, the Virginia commission’s senior hearing examiner denied a similar motion by the staff members. Alexander F. Skirpan said continuing the project in Virginia gave the commission jurisdiction over the project.

The SCC staff has argued that without approval in Maryland of PATH, and a move by West Virginia authorities to postpone a decision on the project until 2011, the transmission line is going nowhere. Allegheny Energy said it will file a new application for PATH in Maryland within the next few weeks. The application in Maryland was initially turned down on legal issues.

“We only just received the Virginia commission staff’s testimony and will closely review the testimony over coming days. PATH Allegheny Virginia Transmission Corporation will respond to staff testimony with rebuttal testimony sometime near the end of December,” said Todd Meyers, manager of external communications for Allegheny Energy, on Thursday.

“The public regulatory review process in Virginia is extremely thorough and has a long way to go. The PATH evidentiary hearings before the Virginia State Corporation Commission are scheduled to begin in Richmond, Va., on Jan. 19, 2010, and are expected to last about two weeks,” Meyers said.
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