Dominion fires boiler for first time at Virginia power plant

Dominion Virginia Power started one of two boilers Nov. 10 at its 585 MW Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC) in southwest Virginia, beginning the testing phase of the power station.

Work began at VCHEC in June 2008 and is 93 percent complete. Dominion said the $1.8 billion project remains on budget and on schedule for commercial operation by the summer of 2012.

Initial cleaning, heating and testing at VCHEC will be performed using fuel oil. After it begins commercial operations, the power station will burn coal, waste coal and biomass in its two circulating fluidized bed boilers. This station is part of Dominion's plan to meet an anticipated growth of nearly 4,600 MW in electricity demand in Virginia during the next decade.

First operation of the station's boilers on coal will occur early next year. First delivery of coal and waste coal to the station is expected in December. Biomass will be introduced into the fuel mix next year after the operation of the station's systems is first proven on coal.

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