PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Just off London Boulevard in Portsmouth on Thursday morning, drivers could see Dominion Energy working with a contracted company to renew power infrastructure that was nearly 60 years old.
This week, WAVY News learned the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s approval of the state’s next phase of electric grid transformations. Several of those makeovers took place in Hampton Roads.
10 On Your Side got a close-up look at one of the transformations in progress.
The “Shea” circuit project in Portsmouth encompasses main feeder lines on Hartford Street, spanning from High Street to Mount Vernon Avenue, and South to Portland Street.
“It’s a large job, it’s a little over three miles for us here,” explained Program Manager Stephen Dulin.
Dulin works for Dominion Energy as part of its resiliency programs.
He says by working to replace aged power poles, cross arms, wires, and other equipment, the goal is to lower power outages.
By renewing the worn infrastructure, he says they’ll also be able to cut down on the length of an outage and also route power to other circuits while repairs are being made to damaged lines.
“If this particular poll were to lose power in a storm, everything behind it would lose power,” said Dulin pointing to the aged pole. “So, all the customers behind this would lose their power. Here, what we’re doing is we’re putting all new poles in, new infrastructure. And we’re making a circuit tie. So if we did lose this circuit, we could tie those customers from another circuit.”
There are three other projects in Hampton Roads: two in Virginia Beach and one in Chesapeake.
If you’re looking to get work done in your neighborhood, it likely wouldn’t be as extensive as this. These neighborhoods were selected by Dominion’s reliability team for having the least performing circuits. Those who ranked lowest took priority.
Even if your circuit didn’t get renewing efforts this time around, Dominion Energy wants you to know if your power goes out, they’re on it.
“Once you get several days into a storm, people are ready to have their power back on and that’s understandable. No one likes to lose their power for any amount of time. I get it, I have kids. I feel for them,” Dulin sympathized. “We have contractors ready to go and our team members are always standing by ready to respond.”
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