Loudoun County’s Role in Shaping Regional Power Grid Improvements

The Loudoun Board of Supervisors and county staff are closely observing the ongoing process led by PJM Interconnection, the Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) responsible for managing electricity sales and distribution in several states, including Virginia. This initiative is part of a broader effort to enhance the power grid in response to the increasing electricity demands in Virginia and Maryland.

Over the past ten months, PJM reviewed 72 proposals to address the region’s electricity needs. On December 11, 2023, the Board of Managers for PJM made a selection from these proposals. The chosen plans aim to improve the electrical transmission reliability within the PJM region, which spans 13 states and the District of Columbia. The next steps involve designating developers to site and construct the necessary facilities and transmission routes.

Among the approved proposals are plans to upgrade existing facilities and to build new high-voltage transmission lines, which are crucial for the regional power grid’s reliability. Notably, one proposal suggests the installation of new transmission lines that would pass through parts of western Loudoun.

In Virginia, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) is tasked with approving any new high-voltage transmission lines before construction can commence. While the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors does not play a direct role in this approval process, the county will function as a “referral agency” for proposals within its boundaries. Moreover, the SCC will conduct public hearings, allowing county officials, local groups, and residents to voice their opinions.

As of now, there are no definitive decisions regarding the placement of the proposed high-voltage transmission line corridor in western Loudoun. The process includes a review by Loudoun County, evaluating how well these proposals align with the land use, environmental, and heritage resource policies outlined in the Loudoun County 2019 Comprehensive Plan.

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