Industries Energy/Green

Dominion Virginia Power wants to convert Bremo Power Station from coal to natural gas

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Dominion Virginia Power wants to convert Bremo Power Station from using coal to natural gas to generate electricity.

In its application filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), Dominion noted that it had agreed to stop using coal and convert the 227-megawatt, two-unit power station in Fluvanna County by spring 2014 as part of the air permit for the coal-fired Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. Virginia Center in Wise County began operating in July.

If the SCC approves the estimated $53.4 million conversion, the company would cease burning coal at the station in fall 2013. This would be the ninth company-owned, coal-fired power station announced in recent years with units to be closed or converted to alternative fuels.

These emission reductions would come in addition to efforts already under way by Dominion in Virginia to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury from existing stations by 75 percent to 85 percent by 2015.

The company said the conversion is projected to save customers about $32 million when compared with the cost of building new generation and will save $155 million when compared to continued operation on coal. Bremo entered service in 1931, and the two units now in use were put into service in 1950 and 1958, respectively.

During construction, the conversion is expected to have a total economic benefit to the state of about $7 million and create up to 42 new jobs. The station will have a total annual economic impact of about $24 million once it is completed.

Dominion has announced plans to shut down or convert all or part of five other coal-fired power stations and convert three small units to biomass. Coal-fired power stations scheduled to close by 2015 are Chesapeake Energy Center and two units at Yorktown Power Station in Virginia, and the North Branch Power Station in West Virginia. The three small Virginia stations being converted to biomass by 2014 are in Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County.



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