What you should know
On this page
A Football Victory
As part of our strategy to ensure energy reliability, in 2019 we moved forward with plans to replace a roughly eight-mile length of electric transmission line between two substations that was nearing the end of its useful life. Because the transmission line sits adjacent to Hopewell High School in central Virginia, we met with school representatives several times to plan our operations around the school’s activities.
When the football team made it to the state playoffs, we rescheduled our wire pulling so we did not interrupt its playoff games. We also visited classes to explain why construction was occurring outside, visited an environmental class to talk about renewables, and discussed job opportunities for both college-bound and non-college-bound students.
The project went forward without a hitch. And the Hopewell Blue Devils finished the season undefeated, winning the Class 3 state championship.
In South Carolina’s Lowcountry, Dominion Energy operates a transmission corridor with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the Marine Recruit Depot at Parris Island and the small town of Yemassee, named after a Native American tribe. In between lies the ACE Basin, which is named for three nearby rivers: the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto. The basin — one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast — is well known for its marshes, rivers, and wildlife, including plentiful waterfowl and alligators.
Dominion Energy needed to harden its electric grid to provide reliability and resiliency to these important military bases without damaging the precious ecosystem. To do that, the company collaborated with the ACE Basin Task Force and various conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited. We relocated a 115-kilovolt transmission line to preserve the Edisto Island National Scenic Byway. As we replaced wooden poles with embedded steel that could withstand winds of up to 150 mph, we used construction techniques throughout the marshes and swamps to minimize the imprint from construction activity. We took advantage of the latest in structural composition and hardware to reduce the number of return trips needed for maintenance or restoration. And we went beyond the scope of environmental considerations when we worked with neighboring property owners to remove our infrastructure from the treasured Old Sheldon Church Roadway and Ruins and route the lines through less visible areas.
Finally, the company’s foundation made a $50,000 donation to Ducks Unlimited to help that group continue its conservation efforts.
As we moved from planning to construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project off the coast of Virginia Beach, we engaged communities of interest around the region. We used local divers for underwater work, local fishing vessels for scouting, local barges for hauling, and local port facilities to support construction and survey vessels. In conjunction with the fisheries liaisons from Sea Risk Solutions, we met with local port representatives and held outreach meetings to gather feedback and input from area stakeholders.
A Historic Find
In 2019, Dominion Energy began work on the site of a future solar installation in Greensville County, Va. A pre-construction cultural survey found archaeological artifacts from both prehistoric times and the 19th century. The former included stone tools and a stone bead made from material not native to the area, suggesting the prehistoric inhabitants belonged to a larger trading network. The latter included ceramics (including a porcelain doll's arm) from an antebellum farmhouse. Consultation with the Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, and Pamunkey Tribe was carried out through Section 106 of the Army Corps of Engineers permitting process in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
Company representatives took the artifacts to Brunswick Academy, a local elementary school, for a presentation. The artifacts were then handed over to the Sadler family, who own the land where the solar site was constructed. Amanda Sadler is the librarian at Brunswick Academy. Her husband, Elliott Sadler, is a former champion NASCAR driver.
"The artifacts presentation"
“The artifacts presentation provided by Dominion Energy & ‘Archaeologist Lauren’ Gryctko brought hands-on history to life for our students. We were all fascinated by the findings & felt connected to past generations. We appreciate the time and energy put into this project and will always value the wealth of knowledge & enthusiasm shared over the artifacts! Thank you!!!”
— Amanda Sadler, Librarian, Brunswick Academy
Augmenting Customer Service
When we need to place infrastructure such as pad-mounted transformers on private property, we use a virtual-reality app developed by Dominion Energy employees that works with an iPad camera to show the owners just how the project would look when completed. The application overlays a 3-D image of the equipment on the camera view of the customer’s home and yard; the equipment image can be dragged and dropped to different locations, and because it is geopinned, the customer can take the iPad to different locations — including inside his or her home — to see how the equipment will look from multiple vantage points. That way, we can work with the owner to find the right location before work begins. We have been using this technology since 2018.