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March 11, 2022

Fauquier supervisors greenlight Dominion substation planned for Opal

Courtesy/Fauquier County
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a special exception Thursday to allow the construction of a new electrical substation in Opal.

After holding a public hearing, the board approved a Category 20 Special Exception, which permits the construction of a public utility in an area otherwise not allowed by law.

The action allows Dominion Energy to construct a new electrical substation in Opal at the intersection of Covingtons Corner Road and Marsh Road. The proposed substation is expected to provide relief to the near-capacity Warrenton Substation located on Meetze Road, according to a county staff report.

During the public hearing, Lee District Supervisor Chris Butler said he was “happy to support” the construction of the new substation and noted he thinks Dominion “did an exceptional job of buffering” the property.

“I know it helps the power situation upstream and also hopefully helps some down in the Remington area,” he said.

Dominion Energy submitted the application in December for a Category 20 Special Exception and Comprehensive Plan Compliance Review mandated by state law.

The substation is needed to address load growth within Fauquier and provide distribution flexibility to maintain reliable electric service, according to county staff.

Neither the Planning Commission nor the Board of Supervisors found the proposed substation posed a threat to public health and safety, would harm the environment quality of the county, obstruct natural viewsheds or negatively impact local agricultural operations.

The compound is expected to encompass approximately 2.5 acres of the 27-acre property and be surrounded by a 12-foot steel fence.

A 2-foot yard buffer is expected to separate the compound from the nearest adjacent property, and the utility proposed planting a 30-foot-wide tree screen along the eastern and western property lines.

Dominion purchased the land in November 2014.
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