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Siting Energy Infrastructure


When a Virginia energy utility seeks to build a new electrical transmission line or natural gas pipeline, it must do so under laws enacted by the General Assembly and governed by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) and Department of Environmental Quality. By law, the utility must prove their electricity transmission lines will be routed as to minimize adverse impacts on “scenic assets, historic resources…and environment of the area.” (That’s the phrasing from the Code of Virginia section 56-46.1).

This is the impact — to communities, to historic sites, to endangered species, and to valued viewsheds — that we protect for our clients. Our energy attorneys represent landowners who will be negatively harmed by utility infrastructure. Our clients often include residential homeowners, community associations, municipalities, and large industrial clients, providing representation before SCC Commissioners in public hearings and in front of city and county leaders for local approvals.

In addition, we advise renewable energy developers in siting demands for their own infrastructure. For smaller generators (renewable energy projects of 150 megawatts or less), we assist clients in compliance with all the construction and operating requirements under the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) permits by rule (PBR). For larger generators, we help obtain both local government approvals and the SCC’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to construct, grow, or acquire facilities for use as public utilities.

Our Siting Energy Infrastructure practice includes:

  • Representing homeowners, local governments, and industrial clients in public utility commission proceedings involving siting of electric transmission lines
  • Advising renewable energy developers in obtaining Virginia DEQ’s PBR and SCC’s CPCN

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