Dominion seeks Virginia approval for 1,350-MW gas plant

Dominion (NYSE: D) said Nov. 2 that it has officially asked the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to approve construction of a 1,358-MW combined-cycle, natural gas power plant in Brunswick County.

The $1.3bn station would be built on a 214-acre site on U.S. Route 58 east of Lawrenceville, Va. The Brunswick natural gas plant would serve growing customer demand and replace electricity from aging coal-fired power stations that are being retired.

Dominion would like to see the plant commence operation in the spring of 2016. The initial increase in the monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity would be 83 cents, effective Sept. 1, 2013.

“The station is a part of our strategy to meet an anticipated demand from our customers for 5,300 megawatts of new generation over the next 15 years,” said Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II said in a statement.

The Brunswick County plant would also help replace more than 900 MW of coal power from the Chesapeake Energy Center and Yorktown Power Station, which will be retired by 2015 because new federal environmental regulations. Likewise, more than 19,000 MW of coal-fired generation will be retired from 2011 through 2019 in PJM, with most retiring by the end of 2015.

The Brunswick County plant will use an air-cooled condenser that reduces water consumption by more than 90% as compared to a water-based cooling tower. Dominion has received local approvals from Brunswick County and has applied to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for an air permit.

More than 500 workers would be required at the height of construction to build the station. Once operating, the station will provide employment for 43 people.

The Brunswick County plant is much like the 1,300-MW combined-cycle plant that Dominion started construction on this spring in Warren County, Va. Dominion earlier this year also completed construction of a 600-MW coal-and-biomass power plant in Wise County, Va.

Dominion has also left the door open for construction of a new power reactor at its North Anna nuclear station in Central Virginia.

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.