Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Delmarva’s Electric Power Needs

I was contemplating why there was such concern for the few people on this new DC transmission line that is to come across the Chesapeake Bay into shores of Dorchester County that then continues to Vienna. I took note to review the existing transmission lines that already run to and from the Vienna area. There are already seven transmission lines that range from 69kV to 230kV. How could anyone notice this new transmission line when there are already so many to blend in with? The seven existing transmission lines have not ruined or devastated Dorchester County’s natural beauty, ruined farmland, or destroyed existing chicken houses. This has been the opposition’s allegations directed at MAPP that upon real review does not stand up to the charges.

Pepco has held four meetings around Dorchester in the past few weeks to quell the fears of the citizens, to get input, and pass on accurate information. Jonathan Travers Chronicles has been passing on information for the last couple of months to educate the citizens of not only Dorchester County, but Delmarva in general.

Upon the completion of the meetings, the Vice President of Delmarva Power, John J. Allen Jr., noted feedback from the citizens in general has been, "Most people are pretty neutral about it." After the meetings Mr. Allen was approached by many attending saying that they would be happy with a line that was hidden in the woods.

I myself have noted the same feedback from those whom I have spoken with and explained the reasons for the need of MAPP. Given the choice of potential rolling blackouts by 2011, or worst, a catastrophic electrical failure on the infrastructure grid from overloads; compared to the addition of one more transmission line going to Vienna; people understand the choice for the need of MAPP to be built.

The Public Service Commission report released last December warned that the Delmarva Peninsula could experience rolling blackouts as early as 2011 to helped people understand the reason for MAPP’s conception. MAPP was not thought up as a means to ruin people’s lives. The Delmarva Peninsula is in dire need to address this situation of lost generation supply. As Marynan Spear, a Vienna resident, stated, "If you need it, you need it."

Well I can’t say it any better than that. Adding transmission lines is essential to keeping power running and people’s lights on. The Eastern Shore lacks a strong transmission system to get power here and we need to firm up the electrical grid system. The single source coming from the Wilmington / Philadelphia area is not the answer as this is the main problem now. Diversification of several sources like transmission runs coming across the Delaware Bay from New Jersey, coming from Calvert Cliffs across the Chesapeake Bay, and down from the north of the Peninsula is the way to address the need.

Finaly, and this may not be the case for Dorchester County because we have slated “NO GROWTH” as our county’s comprehensive plan, but demand for energy on the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula is projected to increase 20 percent over the next 10 years.


  1. From Jonathan Travers,
    My suggestion is that you read the earlier postings on this site as I have already addressed this question. For this question I suggest that you start with "The Truth of MAPP's Opponents."

    Now let’s get back to the topic of the current post.

  2. What will happen to the Vienna Power Plant?

  3. From Jonathan Travers
    To the rest of my readers, if you do not understand the first reply from Jonathan Travers, it is because I was asked by someone posting the question, “Mr. Travers, Is your main sponsor Delmarva Power or Pepco.” My reply to this person at the TOP of the page and as I have mentioned in earlier postings, I am not affiliated with either of these companies. The question is not witty…it is just demonstrates that they are dull and boring. Please read what has been posted and commented so we don’t have to repeat what others have already asked and have been answered.

    Reply to Anonymous #1.
    Thank you for this question because it does bring value to the conversation. I should backtrack to say that the transmission power will come to Calvert Cliffs as AC and then will be “Rectified” into DC at this location. This way you only have to run two transmission power lines under the Chesapeake Bay instead of three transmission power lines as would be required if it were still AC. Vienna will be the site where the DC electric will be “Inverted” back into AC to then go out on the seven existing transmission lines. You still need the switches, surge protection, metering, etc. required to make the Delmarva Peninsula’s electrical grid system work. Again, thank you for this question.

  4. I think both the trash industry and the chicken industry have their sights on Dorchester County.

    In fact the Eastern Shore legislators have all suggested replacing the old Vienna power plant with a Fibro Watt manure burning plant. It is being promoted as a chicken manure burning plant but it is capable of burning any type of manure.

    Having access to the railway would open up interstate incineration. The state and county governments would have no control over it.
    The excess conservation acreage can be used for fly ash.

    Dorchester county has had zero growth for decades. That fact has destroyed it's economy and kept the populatio poor and poorly educated.

    As a county Dorchester has greater problems than a few miles of power lines.

  5. From Jonathan Travers:
    To Anonymous #2
    Thank you reader for this input and a good topic to bring up at this time. I too have heard that the County is entertaining allowing Fibro Watt to bring in animal waste to be burned in Vienna. Not only would this animal waste be brought in by truck loads but the existing railway lines that used to bring in coal could easily bring in railroad cars full of animal manure from every state in the Mid-Atlantic.

    Examples being chicken waste from all over the eastern seaboard with possibly hog waste from North Carolina, and cattle waste from Pennsylvania. With the zero growth as our Dorchester Comprehensive Plan, this policy makes it very conducive to these kinds of industry. The lower population that would be affected by the ill effects of property value loss and health concerns, the more attractive it is for the waste industries in general.

    You have stated quite accurately, with this “No Growth” policy in place for several years, it has at the least stunted our local economy. This burning of animal waste brought in from all over is a much greater problem than a FEW MILES OF POWER LINES.

  6. Why would the people in Vienna want truckloads of manure coming into town? If that is the future that our esteemed town leaders envision, I'm moving!