Dominion Virginia Power on May 16 held the official groundbreaking ceremony for the in-construction, 1,360-MW Brunswick County Power Station.
“A study commissioned by Dominion forecasts that during construction, the station will generate $824 million in new economic activity statewide,” said Paul Ruppert, Dominion’s senior vice president of Business Development & Generation Construction. “Of that amount, $451 million will be in Brunswick County.”
The gas-fired, combined-cycle power station, which was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission in August 2013, will serve growing customer demand and replace electricity from aging coal-fired power stations that are being retired for economic and environmental reasons.
Dominion plans to retire six coal units at its Yorktown and Chesapeake plants by the end of this year. They are: Chesapeake (four units, total of 576 MW); and Yorktown (two units, 323 MW). During 2013, it also converted three coal-fired Virginia stations – Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton – to biomass, increasing its renewable generation by 153 MW. In September 2013, the Virginia commission authorized it to convert Bremo Units 3 and 4 from coal to natural gas. This project will preserve the 227 MW of capacity from the units and is expected to be completed in 2014.
Construction at the Brunswick County plant actually started last September, and the station is currently about 17% complete. It is on budget and schedule to be generating electricity by the summer of 2016.
Said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones: “For the Commonwealth as a whole and Brunswick County in particular, Dominion’s $1.3 billion investment means tax dollars and jobs. Even better, the extension of the gas pipeline to serve this power station offers the promise of even more economic growth in the future.”
Brunswick County Power Station will use natural gas to fire three combustion turbines to generate about 810 MW. The heated air from the combustion turbines will be captured and used to create steam that will spin another turbine to produce about 550 MW.
In February 2012, the Virginia commission also authorized the construction of the Warren County gas plant, which is estimated to cost about $1.1bn, excluding financing costs. It is expected to generate approximately 1,329 MW, with commercial operations scheduled to commence by late 2014.
Dominion Virginia Power parent Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 MW.