Virginia gives final OK to Dominion’s planned 1,300-MW gas plant

Dominion (NYSE: D) has won final Virginia State Corporation Commission approval for a new $1.1bn gas-fired power plant and electric transmission facilities in Warren County, Va.

A rate rider will take effect in April to begin recovering the cost of the 1,300-MW combined-cycle project, the SCC said in a Feb. 2 news release.

The plant will be built on a 39-acre site in the Warren Industrial Park about three miles from Front Royal. The facility is expected to be operational by December 2014.

In its final order the commission found that the project, including a 900-foot, 500-kV transmission line and a switching station, “will serve the public convenience and necessity and are in the public interest.”

The new 900-foot-long transmission line will connect to the company’s existing 500-kV Meadow Brook-Morrisville line, according to the SCC order. The order says that Dominion has also negotiated an engineering, procurement and construction contract that will limit the costs associated with the project.

Zachry Industrial of San Antonio and Burns McDonnell of Kansas City will be the lead vendors, said a Dominion spokesperson, who added that construction should start within 30 days.

The rate rider passed by the commission will produce about $34m in annual revenue. An average residential customer using 1,000–kWh of electricity will see their monthly bill increase roughly 65 cents.

The plant will be fueled by natural gas from the Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline located just three miles from the project.

Virginia originally granted Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures a license for a 600-MW gas-fired plant at the Warren site in 2007. CPV later sold its rights to Dominion.

Last year Dominion brought online its Bear Creek gas-fired power plant in Buckingham County, Va. The company is also planning to build a new gas plant not far from Richmond, Va. Dominion is increasing its gas-fired generation in part to accommodate load growth and partly to compensate for retirement of certain coal-fired generation.

Dominion has also nearly-completed construction of a coal and biomass-fueled power plant in Wise County, Va. The Virginia City Hybrid plant is expected to start commercial operation later this year.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.