CPV could soon apply for 760-MW gas plant in Virginia

Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), an independent power company, appears headed toward filing permit applications for a roughly 760-MW combined cycle natural gas power plant in Smyth County, Va.

The proposed project in Southwestern Virginia could produce enough electricity to power more than 750,000 homes, CPV said in a flyer for a November 2012 that the company held about the project in Atkins, Va.

Staff from Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Southwest Regional Office met with CPV representatives on two occasions in November 2012 and discussed plans for an air permit application, a DEQ official said in a March 18 email to GenerationHub.

“CPV has also been working with our modeling and meteorology sections in the DEQ Richmond office,” the DEQ staffer said. “CPV’s plan for meteorological monitoring was approved by DEQ in February 2013,” he added.

No actual application has been filed yet for the potential new natural gas power plant in Smyth County, the DEQ official added.

According to a CPV webpage, the proposed location is in Smyth County, approximately 50 miles northeast on Interstate-81 from the Virginia-Tennessee border and approximately 100 miles southwest of Roanoake, Va. The project site is located next to an industrial park in Atkins. This site is owned by the Smyth County Industrial Development Authority.

CPV plans to use an air-cooled condenser design to minimize water consumption. Gas for the facility will come from the nearby East Tennessee pipeline and approvals for the pipeline connection will be come from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

At peak construction approximately 350 – 400 workers on site during a 28 – 30 month construction schedule, with strong efforts being made to use local labor and materials to the greatest extent possible. Once operational, facility staff will be approximately 25 – 30 full-time well-paying jobs, CPV said on its website.

CPV is not a stranger to natural gas power plant development in Virginia. It licensed the original plan for a combined-cycle natural gas power plant near Front Royal, Va., before eventually selling its rights for the project to Dominion (NYSE:D). The Warren County, Va., plant is now under construction by Dominion.

In 2012, CPV got approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission to build the CPV St. Charles Energy Center in Maryland. In 2011, CPV was selected by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to develop the Woodbridge Energy Center. The New Jersey and Maryland combined-cycle power projects have drawn much industry scrutiny for the manner in which they were selected in non-utility states.

According to its website, CPV has more than 5,000 MW of projects in various stages of development across North America. One of the largest is on the West Coast. CPV said in a recent twitter post that its 800-MW CPV Sentinel natural gas plant in California is 94% complete.

Proposed power plants in Virginia:

Here is a list of the proposed power plants in Virginia listed on a DEQ website in September 2012:

** Stonewall/Green Energy is proposed a 750-MW natural gas/distributed generation plant in Loudoun County. Commercial operation is targeted in 2014 although the project is still not listed as being in construction.

** GPC Green Energy is proposing an almost 25 MW landfill gas power plant in the city of Suffolk.

** Dominion is planning a 51-MW biomass plant in Hopewell City. Dominion will be taking an existing coal unit and converting it to natural gas. Work is expected to start this spring. Commercial operation is targeted for 2013, Dominion said.

** Dominion is also planning a 1,300-MW combined-cycle natural gas station in Brunswick County. The company is currently seeking a certificate of need from the Virginia State Commerce Commission (SCC).

** Dominion is already building the 1,300-MW Warren County combined-cycle gas power plant near Front Royal.

** Gateway Cogeneration 1 plans a 168-MW natural gas facility in Prince George County.

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.