Letter to PJM Interconnection’s Director of Operations Planning Regarding Proposal 2022-W3-853 – Greenfield 500 kV line in Western Loudoun County

January 5, 2024

 

Dear Chairman Souder,
Chairman, Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee
2750 Monroe Blvd
Audubon, PA 19403

My name is Geary Higgins, and I am the Delegate-elect for Virginia’s 30th House District, which encompasses Western Loudoun County and parts of Fauquier County. I am writing today because I am deeply concerned about the proposed route of transmission lines through Western Loudoun county. I have received an enormous amount of communications from my future constituents in opposition to this proposal. I am especially troubled by the fact that these lines run through Western Loudoun, but do not appear to service any part of Western Loudoun. Further, the proposed route would take land from protected conservation easements and gravely disrupt a National Historic Landmark in the Waterford Historic District.

I would like to know why these lines cannot be routed a few miles to the east through existing right of ways in Leesburg, instead of creating new right of ways through conservation easements and historically preserved land. I ask that executives in charge of selecting the route of these transmission lines sit down with the representatives for the affected area, Senator-elect Russet Perry, Loudoun County Supervisor Caleb Kershner, and myself, to discuss the considerations that have been taken into account for this proposal as well as alternate routes.

This proposal would set a dangerous precedent by taking conservation easements through eminent domain, and would have devastating effects on the preservation of our green spaces and history in Western Loudoun. This plan would disrupt a more than 250 year old historic district that has otherwise been untouched and perfectly preserved. Further, I am certain this proposal cannot be cost effective as the land that would have to be purchased would be very costly given itslocation.

I would also be interested to know the purpose for these new transmission lines – is it due to the mentioned deactivation of 11,000mw of generation, or would it have been necessary to power data centers in Loudoun regardless of the deactivation? Should there have been no deactivation, how necessary would these lines be? Any data there would be appreciated to help me and my staff understand the reasons for this proposal. Also if you could shed light on what accounted for the deactivation.

I appreciate your time and consideration. I believe we can find a solution that does not disrupt Western Loudoun County and I look forward to sitting down with you all to work together to make that happen.

Thank you,

Delegate-elect Geary Higgins
Virginia House of Delegates
District 30

 

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Paid For And Authorized By Friends of Geary Higgins.
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