If you are looking for more information to form your own opinion about what's going on, here are a couple of things I've dug up for your perusal:
Dominion's website with more information about the project. Contains maps, "fact" sheet, FAQ, project timeline and specs.
We first saw this project mentioned as "Alternative 1" in Dominion's PATH alternative proposal presented to PJM in May of this year. Unfortunately, this rebuild was also included in Alternatives 2, 3 and 4, which also contain some portion of PATH being built, including PATH in its entirety. See this link for the latest PJM TEAC document. The first few pages discuss the project and show some shocking pictures of deterioration of the tower structures. Of course, power companies and propaganda go together like peanut butter and jelly, so keep that in mind. Read Page 15 carefully for a few clues before you become a cheerleader for this project, thinking it's going to solve all your problems with PATH: "Window of opportunity to get line outages after Trail is placed in service in the Spring of 2011
Transmission owners should use best efforts to complete the work by 2015
– If sufficient outages can not be obtained to complete the work by 2015, the full scope will be finished following PATH being placed in-service.
– After completion of PATH, outages should be more available
– Based on worst case estimate, the project could take as long as nine years; therefore it is imperative the parties start as soon as possible"
See also Dominion's Q3 2010 Earnings Call, which contains this quote:
"Also, yesterday, PJM announced its intention to recommend to the PJM Board the reconductoring of our Mt. Storm-to-Doubs line as part of the 2010 Regional Transmission Expansion Plan. We anticipate formal PJM approval in December, in line with our expectations since we first announced this project at our May financial conference."
The Earnings Calls are famous sources for fat cat executives posturing for their investors, so take that with a grain of salt as well.
If you're really curious, come to one of the "Open House" meetings to be held in Winchester and Lovettsville next week. Although these "Open Houses" are supposed to be for Virginia residents, with similar ones for West Virginia residents to be held early next year, we encourage you to attend and ask as many questions as your patience will allow. I almost feel sorry for the Dominion guys after PATH has made such a mess of their relationship with the public. Remember, these guys aren't responsible for PATH, although they are responsible for TrAIL, so give everything the "sniff test", but be polite.
November 16, 5:00 - 7:30 PM - James Wood High School cafeteria, 161 Apple Pie Ridge Road, Winchester, VA 22603
November 17, 5:00 - 7:30 PM - Lovettsville Community Center, 57 East Broad Way, Lovettsville, VA 20180