ODEC delays plans for power plant permits

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Old Dominion Electric Cooperative has delayed plans for obtaining air emission permits to construct a $6 billion, coal-fired power plant in Southeast Virginia.

ODEC, based in Glen Allen, said it would restart the permit process in 18 to 24 months for its Cypress Creek Power Station. The electrical cooperative said it remains committed to building the plant. Its preferred site is a 1,600-acre property in the Dendron area of Surry County. An alternative site is a 1,200-acre property in Sussex County.

A coalition of environmental groups that opposed the plant, Wise Energy for Virginia, welcomed news of the delay.  It called on ODEC to “pull the plug on the coal plant altogether” and find alternatives for generating power.

ODEC blamed the delay on slower than expected economic growth, which has dampened projected demand for electricity. The cooperative said its extended timeline also would allow time for the federal government to “address uncertainty in energy and environmental policies, such as the fate of the proposed ‘Cap-and-Trade’ legislation and
EPA regulations.”

The cooperative said it will continue to work on securing property rights-of-way for a water pipeline that would serve the power plant.

ODEC said it already has spent $20 million on the project, including the purchase of property in Dendron, Surry and Sussex.

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