ST. PAUL, Va., Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell joined Dominion Virginia Power officials today in dedicating the new Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, marking the completion of a four-year, $1.8-billion construction project that is bringing an economic boost to Southwest Virginia.
The power station, one of the cleanest of its kind, will help Dominion Virginia Power meet an anticipated 4,000-megawatt growth in electricity demand from its customers during the next decade. The facility uses coal and renewable biomass to generate enough electricity to power 146,000 homes.
The station brings significant economic and environmental benefits. It will account for $258 million annually for the economy of Southwest Virginia, including $6 million in annual tax payments to Wise County. Virginia’s air will be cleaner because the company is converting the older coal-burning Bremo Power Station to natural gas as part of the Virginia City air permit.
“This amazing project is part of a $4 billion planned investment by Dominion to provide for the energy needs of a growing Virginia economy, an investment that will include completion of six power station projects over the next two years,” McDonnell said. “The station’s state-of-the art environmental controls prove that coal can be burned cleanly and will remain an important part of the commonwealth’s energy picture for decades to come.”
Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: “Virginia City is a welcome addition to our generating fleet and helps ensure reliable power, a diverse energy mix and stable, economic rates for our customers. We are committed to being a good neighbor in Southwest Virginia because that is an integral part of who we are as a company.”
Gov. McDonnell and Farrell were joined at the ceremony by many officials and civic leaders from Southwest Virginia, including state Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Tazewell, Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Scott and former state Sen. William Wampler, R-Bristol.
“The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center has been a great long-term benefit for our entire region, especially during this Great Recession,” said Puckett.
“As a major supporter of this project since 2004, I am delighted that this clean coal power station has completed its final milestone today – the dedication,” said Kilgore.
Virginia City entered commercial service in July. The station uses advanced circulating fluidized-bed technology and burns run-of-mine coal, waste coal and up-to-20 percent renewable biomass in two boilers to produce 585 megawatts of electricity. Emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and mercury are held to levels that are roughly 99 percent below levels of similar units built in the 1960s.
Farrell singled out Eva T. Hardy, a retired Dominion executive vice president, for being a champion of the Wise County project. “Eva worked tirelessly with state and local officials, regulators and community groups to pave the way for the acceptance and support of this power station.”
At the ceremony the Dominion Foundation presented gifts of $25,000 each to Feeding America – Southwest Virginia, a regional food bank; Mountain Empire Older Citizens for the agency’s fuel fund for the elderly; and The Health Wagon, a free clinic and administrator of an annual three-day health fair, RAM, that provides free medical and dental care to roughly 2,000 people.
Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D).