Virginia sets March hearing on 750-MW Panda project

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has scheduled a public hearing on March 11, 2014, to consider a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for a 750-MW gas power plant proposal in Northern Virginia

The Stonewall project is now controlled by Dallas-based Panda Power Funds.

Panda announced in September that it had acquired rights to the project in Loudoun County from Green Energy Partners/Stonewall. Bechtel is also now involved with the project.

If it wins needed government approvals and financing, the project is scheduled to start commercial operation in March 2017. The capital cost is projected to be $500m, excluding certain owner and financing costs, according to a Nov. 8 SCC filing.

“Stonewall also states that because it is not a regulated utility, any business risk associated with the proposed Project would be borne solely by the Applicant, with no impact on the rates paid by ratepayers in Virginia,” according to the SCC hearing order.

The applicant asserts the proposed power plant should help support reliability in the Northern Virginia area near Washington, D.C., by providing additional generation in a congested region of the state.

The plant will also be located about 50 miles from where a regulated utility, Dominion (NYSE:D) subsidiary Virginia Electric Power Co., is already more than halfway complete in building a 1,300-MW gas-fired power plant in Warren County, Va.

Stonewall developers plan to build a combined-cycle natural gas plant on a 101-acre site near the Leesburg Executive Airport and north of the Dulles Greenway road system. The project site is located just west-southwest of a Luck Stone quarry.

The area around the plant is zoned for industrial use. The proposed facility would include two combustion turbines, two heat recovery steam generators with duct burners and one steam turbine generator. The facility would employ low-NOx combustion technology and will be equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to control NOx.

The planned project would also be a “zero liquid discharge” facility using reclaimed water from the Town of Leesburg. Pipeline quality natural gas can be supplied by either the Dominion Transmission or Columbia Gas Transmission interstate gas pipelines.

The plant would interconnect with the Pleasant View – Brambleton 230 k-V transmission line.

The Virginia SCC case is PUE-2013-00104.

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.