Dominion shut coal equipment at Bremo plant in September

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is taking comment until Dec. 9 on a draft permit renewal for the Bremo power station of Dominion Virginia Power, which in September lost coal as its permanent fuel.

“The Bremo Power Station is a natural gas-fired electric power generating facility located in Fluvanna County, Virginia,” said a permit document. “The facility includes two wall-fired Babcock and Wilcox boilers rated at 920 and 1,684 million Btu per hour (MMBtu/hr) heat input capacity. The facility also includes a natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler, a natural gas-fired gas pipeline heater, and diesel fire pump.”

The facility stopped using coal, distillate oil, and used oil as fuel for the boilers, and formally shut down the coal handling equipment at the facility under a mutual shutdown agreement with the DEQ, on Sept. 19.

On April 22, 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with Virginia Electric & Power d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power to resolve Clean Air Act violations at eight of VEPCO’s coal-fired power plants including Bremo.

The facility amended the minor new source review (NSR) permit to convert the coal-fired portions of the Bremo Power Station to natural gas on May 24, 2013; however, certain requirements of the Consent Decree still apply to the facility. The Title V renewal permit includes requirements of the Consent Decree for Bremo Power Station that are at least as stringent as the terms of the Consent Decree.

The May 24 permit modification also included: the shutdown of the coal and ash handling equipment; the replacement of the 8.7 MMBtu/hr auxiliary boiler with a 25 MMBtu/hr natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler; and the addition of a 4.277 MMBtu/hr natural gas-fired gas pipeline heater.

Dominion Virginia Power, which is a unit of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), won a Sept. 10 approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission for this project.

Bremo has been in operation since 1931 and it has two active units. Commercial operation of Unit 3, with net capacity of 71 MW, commenced in 1950. Unit 4, with net capacity of 156 MW, was put into commercial operation in 1958. Although they no longer operate as baseload units, Dominion Virginia Power told the commission that it has a continuing need for Bremo’s generating capacity and energy.

Conversion to natural gas operation will preserve 227 MW (net) of capacity. Columbia Gas of Virginia would extend a natural gas lateral from Dominion’s Bear Garden Generating Station on the south side of the James River to supply natural gas to Bremo, which is adjacent to the north bank of the river. Gas-fired operation at Bremo is planned to meet summer 2014 peak demand needs.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.