PJM Interconnection said in the March 18 version of its pending power plant deactivation list that two coal units at Virginia Electric and Power‘s Yorktown power plant can stay in operation until the end of March 2016.
Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power had originally in 2011 and 2012 asked for deactivation of Yorktown Unit 1 (159 MW) and Unit 2 (165 MW) as of the end of 2014. The four coal units at the utility’s Chesapeake plant were subject to the same schedule and did indeed shut in December 2014. But the Yorktown units were found to be needed to help the grid.
Said the PJM list for each Yorktown unit: “Unit will stay in service until March 31, 2016 to support transmission outages in area to install needed upgrades.”
The Dominion website shows Yorktown as a 1,141-MW plant, with the bulk of its capacity (818 MW) coming from the oil-burning Unit 3, which is a peaker that is not part of the upcoming shutdowns of the coal units. The website said the plant’s average daily coal consumption is 2,200 tons, which is probably a figure that is more reflective of the past than the present or the future out until the end of March of next year. U.S. Energy Information Administration data shows the plant taking coal last year from a variety of Central Appalachia mining operations, including the Roxana (Kentucky) and Chess (West Virginia) operations through Alpha Coal Sales.
Incidentally, EIA data also shows the now-shut Chesapeake coal units taking coal last year from several Central Appalachia sources, including from Arch Coal Sales through the Ragland Loadout (West Virginia) and Patriot Coal Sales through the Quincy Dock (West Virginia). The shut Chesapeake Units 1 and 2 are each 111 MW in size, while Unit 3 is 147 MW and Unit 4 is 207 MW. Like with Yorktown, non-coal generating capacity at the site remains in operation.