State regulators on Tuesday approved the construction of a high-voltage transmission line over the James River that critics contend will be an eyesore near some of Virginia’s most important historic sites, including Jamestown.
The State Corporation Commission acted on a request by Virginia Dominion Power to construct an 8-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission that would cross 4.1 miles over the James and include as many as 17 towers.
In its ruling, the commission acknowledged the concerns of opponents but said the project is “necessary to continue reliable electric service to the hundreds of thousands of people who live and work across this broad region of Virginia.”
The commission approved the so-called Surry-Skiffes Creek project. It includes the overhead transmission line from a Dominion switching station in Surry County to a new switching station in James City County in the state’s Tidewater region. It also would include a 230-kilovolt transmission line through James City and York counties, the city of Newport News and ending in Hampton.