Virginia hearing examiner endorses Doswell’s 340-MW peaker project

A Hearing Examiner at the Virginia State Corporation Commission issued a May 3 report recommending approval of a December 2015 application from Doswell Limited Partnership to construct a 340-MW facility in Hanover County, Virginia.

Doswell proposes to build the project entirely on the site of the existing 155-acre Doswell Energy Center in Hanover County, located south of the Little River and north of Route 738. Doswell indicates that it plans to construct the project on 10.5 acres of land located on the east side of the DEC Site, adjacent to property zoned for heavy industrial uses and owned by Bear Island Paper Co.

The DEC Site is crossed by two existing Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) 230-kV transmission lines and one 115-kV transmission line. The DEC Site is also crossed by the Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) Joint Use Pipeline.

Doswell currently operates at the site: four combined-cycle turbines in conjunction with four duct burners capable of producing approximately 650 MW for primary electricity generation; one simple-cycle combustion turbine (CT) capable of producing approximately 171 MW for peaking electricity generation; and auxiliary facilities supporting these operations.

Doswell in this case requests approval to expand the DEC Site by adding two dual-fuel simple-cycle CTs that will provide on-demand, peaking electricity generation. These are two General Electric 7FA CTs. The CTs will fire natural gas primarily but will also be capable of firing ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD). The CTs will use dry low nitrogen oxide (NOx) combustion technology and water injection to control NOx emissions based on the fuel being fired. The use of pipeline-quality natural gas and ULSD will minimize particulate emissions from the CTs.

Doswell is a special-purpose entity organized to develop, construct, own, and operate the Doswell Energy Center and this project. Doswell is controlled by its two partners, Doswell 1 LLC, a general partner, and Doswell LP LLC, a limited partner, which are 100% owned by affiliates of LS Power.

On April 7, VNG filed comments in support of Doswell’s application. VNG is a public service company providing natural gas to approximately 287,000 customers in central and southeastern Virginia, including the DEC Site. VNG supports Doswell’s plans to serve the project by using existing firm and interruptible capacity, or purchase transportation service on an as-needed basis from VNG through its existing commission-approved transportation tariff.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality officials are seeking certain basic conditions in areas like wetlands impacts of the project.

Said the May 3 report: “In its Application, Doswell proposed a straightforward expansion of its Doswell Energy Center in Hanover County, Virginia. The expansion involves the construction and operation of two new CTs at the facility to increase the facility’s peaking electric generation capacity from 171 MW to 511 MW. The additional 340 MW capacity will be designed to operate in extreme cold weather and in situations where natural gas is not readily available. By siting the new CTs at an existing electric generating facility, Doswell has minimized the environmental impacts associated with the Project. The DEC Site requires minimal infrastructure improvements to interconnect the Project to the electric transmission grid. By constructing peaking electric generating resources in Virginia, reliability of the electric transmission grid throughout the Mid-Atlantic region will be enhanced.”

In the May 3 filing, based on the evidence received in this case, the Hearing Examiner finds that:

  • The project will not have a material adverse effect upon the reliability of electric service provided by any public utility;
  • The project is not otherwise contrary to the public interest;
  • The project will comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations; and
  • The project will have a positive economic impact on the Commonwealth.

Accordingly, the Hearing Examiner recommends the commission enter a final order:

  • ADOPTING the findings in this report;
  • GRANTING Doswell a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate the project; and
  • PASSING the papers herein to the file for ended causes.
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.