Renewed permit for Dominion’s Chesapeake plant includes coal retirements

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is taking comment until March 7 on a Title V permit renewal filed by Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power for the Chesapeake Energy Center, with that renewed permit taking into account the retirement of the plant’s coal-fired capacity.

Said a permitting document: “The facility produces electrical power using four single cycle combustion turbines each of which is capable of burning either natural gas or distillate fuel oil. … There are two emergency generators (one propane and one diesel) which have been replaced with 2014 and 2015 models.

“The facility shut down four coal-fired boilers and the associated coal and ash handling operations along with the carbon burn out unit on December 23, 2014. The facility is currently operating under a consent decree from EPA entered on October 3, 2003, however the units cited in the consent decree have been retired and have been dismantled (2015). EPA Region III permitting was contacted to find out if the consent decree should still be part of the permit. They contacted their legal department and we were informed that as long as the units are shutdown, the consent decree is no longer applicable to this facility. Therefore, the EPA consent decree is no longer an attachment to this permit.”

The surviving combustion turbine units at Chesapeake are:

  • Unit 1 – Pratt & Whitney combustion turbine constructed in 1967. Fires diesel fuel / distillate oil or natural gas.
  • Unit 2 – Westinghouse 191 combustion turbine constructed in 1969. Fires diesel fuel / distillate oil or natural gas.
  • Unit 4 – Westinghouse 191 combustion turbine constructed in 1969. Fires diesel fuel / distillate oil or natural gas.
  • Unit 6 – Westinghouse 191 combustion turbine constructed in 1969. Fires diesel fuel / distillate oil or natural gas.

Incidentally, the two coal-fired units (Units 1 and 2) at Dominion’s Yorktown power plant had been due to be retired around the end of 2014 along with the Chesapeake coal units. But PJM Interconnection needed them in operation for extra time so it could reinforce the local grid. A PJM list of pending deactivations, updated to Feb. 2, shows that Yorktown Unit 1 (159 MW) and Unit 2 (165 MW) are both due for deactivation around March 31 of this year. That is just ahead of the April 16 compliance deadline under a one-year deadline extension under the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

Yorktown’s other unit, Unit 3, is an 818-MW oil-fired peaker that is not due for deactivation.

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.