Wind turbines in Areva’s future in Virginia?

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Areva, known for its nuclear power operations in Virginia, wants to build wind turbines, too. 

The Lynchburg News & Advance reports that the company’s U.S. headquarters in Lynchburg hosted a meeting yesterday of the state’s Manufacturing Development Commission where members learned about a bill that calls for the creation of a state agency to oversee offshore wind energy projects.

State Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, presented a draft of the bill. Virginia Beach is being eyed by another company as a possible location for wind farms, and Wagner is backing a state agency to coordinate projects and licensing, the newspaper said. 

Areva officials project that building and installing wind turbines could create thousands of new manufacturing and construction jobs in Virginia.  Areva NP Inc. in Lynchburg manufactures nuclear power plant components. Its parent company in France has joined forces with Northrop Grumman to build a $363 million heavy nuclear components manufacturing plant in Newport News that broke ground last month.

In other energy news, Dominion Virginia Power and a Virginia Tech coalition are seeking federal stimulus funds for a carbon-capture project.

A coalition led by Tech’s Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research has applied for funding to cover about half of a $580 million price tag for a carbon-capture and storage demonstration project at a power plant Dominion is building in Wise County. If the project is approved,  Dominion would provide nearly $200 million, and other members of the coalition would put up the remaining funds.

The plan calls for the removal of as much as 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide from emissions at the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, which will burn coal, waste coal and biomass. The request was filed on behalf of a project team that includes Dominion subsidiary Dominion Virginia Power, The Southern States Energy Board, Marshall Miller and Associates and others. The coalition expects a funding decision by November.

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