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Bates White issues report on need for new high-voltage transmission line in Virginia

January 10, 2008

In a report prepared for the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Bates White explored potential alternatives to the construction of a 500-kilovolt electric transmission line proposed by Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) and Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company.

The authors of the report, Nicolas Puga, Bates White Principal, and Spencer Yang, PhD, Bates White Manager, concluded that in the absence of significant generation additions and/or load reduction, additional transmission infrastructure is critical to ensure that the backbone transmission system can reliably serve the expected load growth in the PJM mid-Atlantic region and the northern Virginia area.

Bates White performed load flow modeling, contingency analysis, and reliability needs assessments of numerous scenarios that encompassed transmission, generation, and demand-response alternatives. Bates White also submitted a report that analyzed the costs of the proposed line.

The comprehensiveness and objectivity of the report have been recognized by groups in conflict over the necessity of the line. The Washington Post reported on January 10, 2007, that DVP (which applied for approval to build the line) was “pleased with [Bates White’s] findings” and that Piedmont Environmental Group (which has filed testimony opposed to the line) was “comfortable” that the report was not a refutation of its case.

The proposed line would traverse sections of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and terminate at a substation in Loudoun County, VA. The line is known as the “502 Junction-Mt. Storm-Meadow Brook-Loudoun 500 kV Transmission Line” and consists of 265 total miles, 93 of which would be in Virginia.

To read the Washington Post article, visit:

Nicolas Puga, MS, has more than 20 years of experience as a senior energy advisor and executive of energy consulting services in international marketing, business development, and operations. Mr. Puga has worked as a technical advisor on energy infrastructure project development, energy end-use efficiency, renewable energy technology policies and marketing. Mr. Puga has advised numerous private and public sector clients in the United States, Canada, México, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, the Philippines, and Australia.

Spencer Yang, PhD, is an expert in transmission modeling, computer simulation techniques, economic and statistical analysis, and quantitative and predictive modeling. Dr. Yang provides attorneys and senior management with strategic advice and litigation support in electric transmission business and regulatory market power disputes. Prior to joining Bates White, he served as a Staff Scientist at California Institute of Technology and as a Senior Postdoctoral Scholar at California Institute of Technology, where he synthesized abstract research results into meaningful recommendations to government reviewers.