FERC to write enviro review on pipeline to serve new Greensville power plant

The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) on the impacts of the Virginia Southside Expansion Project II, which involves construction and operation of facilities by Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) to serve the planned Greensville County combined-cycle project of Virginia Electric and Power.

The commission said in a May 6 notice that it will use this EA in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity. Scoping comments on what should be covered in the EA are being taken until June 5.

Transco proposes to construct and operate 4.3 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline, gas compression facilities, and associated aboveground and underground facilities to provide about 250,000 dekatherms per day of incremental firm transportation service to Virginia Electric and Power (VEPCO), a unit of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D). The proposed pipeline would connect Transco’s approved Brunswick Lateral in Brunswick County, Virginia (to be constructed in 2015) to the proposed VEPCO power station in Greensville County, Virginia. The project would provide 100% of the natural gas required by this new power station. The Greensville County Power Station is subject to regulatory approval by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

The Virginia Southside Expansion Project II would include the following facilities:

  • 4.3 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline in Brunswick and Greensville Counties, Virginia;
  • two 10,915-horsepower (hp) gas turbine compressor units at Transco’s approved Compressor Station 166 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia (anticipated construction start date October 2015);
  • one 25,000-hp electric-driven compressor unit at the existing Compressor Station 185 in Prince William County, Virginia;
  • a new meter and regulator station and pig receiver facility in Greensville County, Virginia;
  • a new pig launcher facility in Brunswick County, Virginia; and
  • modifications at 19 existing facilities in Cherokee and Spartanburg 
Counties, South Carolina and Polk County, North Carolina, including odorization/deodorization facility modifications, valves, and valve operators.

In other recent news about the power plant project:

  • Dominion Resources Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Farrell II said during a first quarter earnings call May 4 about the need for new capacity even beyond this project: “I am highly-confident that we will need more generation construction in Virginia post Greensville County.” The need for new generation is driven both by load growth in Virginia and to comply with the carbon reduction mandate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, he noted.
  • Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) announced April 27 that it was awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract by VEPCO to build this 1,600-MW project. The project investment will exceed $1 billion and result in the largest and most efficient natural gas-fueled power station in Virginia. Based on the current limited notice-to-proceed, Fluor said it will book a portion of its scope into backlog in the first quarter of 2015 with the remainder to be booked in 2016 after Dominion receives final permits and approvals.
  • VEPCO on March 26 officially announced the Greensville County project, though it had been in the works for some time before that. Pending regulatory approval, the station would create more than 1,000 jobs at the peak of construction and be operational in 2019 to meet projected demand growth.
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.