The fight against the line in Virginia was led by the Piedmont Environmental Council. Its questions about expected electricity demand did prompt PJM to suspend plans for the Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH), which we reported on here.
The battle "also led, indirectly, to a stunning policy reversal on siting transmission lines," Behr reports. In a Piedmont Council lawsuit, a federal appeals court nullified a 2005 law giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission "siting authority for siting major transmission lines in the mid-Atlantic, one of the 'national interest' corridors where congestion threatens grid reliability. The court ruled that under the law's plain language, FERC could intervene if state commissions failed to act on a transmission proposal lying in a national corridor, but not if a state rejected the project outright. That court decision strengthens the hand of mid-Atlantic state governors who want to build offshore wind power farms on their coasts rather than see Midwestern wind power imported into their urban areas." (Read more, subscription required)