Industries Energy/Green

Dominion Virginia Power construction expected to bring more than $3 billion in economic benefits

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By 2015, nine power-generation and environmental-protection projects that are part of a construction program by Dominion Virginia Power are expected to bring more than $3.3 billion in economic benefits.  According to a study by Richmond-based Chmura Economics & Analytics, those benefits to Virginia include 14,200 jobs during construction, 750 permanent jobs and — once the jobs are complete — an annual economic impact of $290 million.

David A. Christian, CEO of Dominion Generation, referred to the projects as “economic engines.” “They will help power Virginia’s economic recovery, in addition to meeting the growing demand for electricity of homes and businesses and improving environmental quality,” he said in a statement.

Dominion Virginia Power embarked on its building program — Powering Virginia — after Virginia reregulated its electricity industry in 2007. The projects are designed to help meet Virginia’s power demands, expand the use of renewable resources and protect the environment through improved air quality.
The nine projects are:
New generation facilities
• Bear Garden, a 580-megawatt, natural gas power station in Buckingham County that became operational in May.
• Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, a 585-megawatt coal-fired station in Wise County, scheduled to become operational next year.
• Warren County, a 1,300-megawatt, natural gas power station projected to begin commercial operations in late 2014.
• Halifax Solar, a 4-megawatt solar development in Halifax County. Dominion expects to apply for state regulatory approval in the spring of 2012.
According to Christian, the four projects will add more than 2,400 megawatts of capacity, or about 53 percent of the 4,500 megawatts Dominion’s service area in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina is expected to need during peak demand over the next decade.

Conversions of existing power stations
• Bremo, a Fluvanna County station the company will convert from coal to natural gas.
• Coal-burning facilities in Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County, each of which will be converted to operate on waste wood generated by the timber industry to produce about 150 megawatts of electricity from biomass, a renewable resource.

Environmental protection
• Chesterfield Power Station where a flue gas desulfurization system, or scrubber, has been installed to reduce emissions from three coal-powered units. One unit has been connected, and the other two will be connected to the system by the end of this year.

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