Dominion reports much progress on Greensville combined-cycle plant

Dominion (NYSE:D) reported Oct. 31 that construction is on schedule on the 1,588-MW combined-cycle natural gas plant in Greensville County, Virginia.

The $1.3bn project, which will be the largest gas power plant in Virginia, is expected to be in-service in late 2018, Dominion officials said during a regular quarterly earnings call with financial analysts.

“We continue to execute on our growth projects including starting construction of the 1,588-MW Greensville County combined cycle power station,” said Dominion Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Farrell II.

The final air permit was issued in June on thee and the full notice to proceed with construction was issued to Fluor, Dominion said.

About 480 workers are currently on-site, Farrell said. Dominion has been building several new combined-cycle gas plants in Virginia as its reduces its coal footprint.

Dominion officials mentioned during the call that recent deployment of the Brunswick County gas plant has helped the company reach new power generation levels in Virginia.

Dominion is also developing renewable generation through its regulated and non-regulated affiliates.

“Our large contracted solar farms, Four Brothers and Three Cedars in Utah, were completed last month, on time and on budget,” Farrell said. “We have a number of solar projects under development in Virginia and North Carolina and continue to see demand for renewables from our customers.”

Two solar projects, which Dominion owns a 50% interest in, went in-service in Utah during September. The Utah projects are the 320-MW Four Brothers project and the 210-MW Three Cedars facility.

Dominion is also bringing online more than 230 MW of solar in its regulated Virginia and North Carolina territory. These solar projects include the Summit Farms Solar project in North Carolina and the Remington (second phase); Oceana, Eastern Shore and the Scott, Whitehouse, Woodland Solar Project, all in Virginia.

The Cove Point liquefaction project in Maryland is 75% complete, Farrell said. Dominion has completed 99% of the necessary engineering; equipment is also 99% procured and more than 2,000 workers are on-site. Dominion received its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notice of schedule for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in August. A construction contract for the natural gas pipeline was signed with Spring Ridge Constructors. Dominion expects that construction will start on the Atlantic Coast pipeline in the second half of 2017. It expects completion in the second half of 2019.

The Questar merger closed on Sept. 16 and is consistent with Dominion emphasis on core energy infrastructure, Farrell said. Questar is a Rockies-based natural gas company.

Moving from natural gas to nuclear power, Dominion officials noted there was an unplanned outage at the Millstone nuclear station in Connecticut that affected earnings for the quarter. Overall, the Dominion nuclear fleet has recorded 93% capacity so far this year.

Farrell was also encouraged that Connecticut lawmakers are moving ahead with a Clean Power Standard in that state. Connecticut already uses a renewable portfolio auction on an annual basis. Policy makers will soon expand the process to included nuclear power to some extent, Farrell said.

Dominion announced unaudited reported earnings determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for the three months ended Sept. 30, of $690m ($1.10 per share) compared with earnings of $593m($1.00 per share) for the same period in 2015.

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.