Virginia commission approves Dominion request to build Greensville power plant

Dominion (NYSE:D) has won approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to build and operate a 1,588-MW combined-cycle natural gas power plant in western Greensville County, Virginia.

In its final order, the SCC determined that the company established a need for the additional capacity and energy that the project would provide.

The SCC also concluded that increased energy efficiency does not have the potential to defer or satisfy the company’s need for the additional capacity that the gas-fueled power plant is expected to provide.

The SCC was also satisfied that Dominion “undertook serious and credible efforts to assess the cost and availability of third-party alternatives.”

In addition to a request for proposals (RFP), Dominion also compared the Greensville project to multiple unsolicited offers for solar, wind, landfill gas and coal reserves that were outside of the RFP.

Between 2019 and 2030, the Project is expected to meet approximately 10% of customers’ total energy requirements annually while reducing system-wide fuel expenses, according to the SCC.

Along with the new power station, the SCC approved the construction of new 500 kV transmission lines, a new switching station, and associated facilities in Brunswick and Greensville counties to connect the facility to the electric transmission network. The new station is expected to be online in 2019.

The SCC also found that the company adequately considered and weighed alternative options, including third-party alternatives and alternative self-build options (including renewable resource options), in its selection process.

Dominion utility Virginia Electric Power Co. d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power had filed its application in July 2015.

“We find that the Project will provide economic benefits to Greensville County, the Southside region, and the Commonwealth,” the SCC stated. “In addition to local benefits related to construction and operation, most importantly the Project will foster economic development in Virginia by providing reliable and cost-effective electricity supply to meet the growing demand for electric service in the Commonwealth.”

Construction is expected to begin later this year on the $1.3bn power plant on a site that straddles the Greensville/Brunswick County line. Dominion’s latest gas-fueled power plant will be built on 55 acres. It is being constructed just a few miles from Dominion’s Brunswick Power Station, which is expected to be fully operational next month.

Construction at the station will create more than 1,000 jobs and approximately 45 full-time positions once on line in 2019.

“We are pleased that the SCC has granted approval for the Greensville Power Station,” said Dominion Generation Group CEO Paul Koonce. “This project will ultimately bring low cost, reliable electricity to our customers while saving them $2 billion over the life of the plants’ operation, in addition to providing a major economic impact and good paying jobs for Southside Virginia.”

The Case Number is PUE-2015-00075.

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.