Dominion dedicates new 590MW Bear Garden CCGT power station in Virginia

Source: Dominion Virginia Power 

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell joined Dominion Virginia Power (NYSE: D) executives and local officials Friday to dedicate the Bear Garden Power Station, calling the new natural gas-fired station, "an environmentally friendly and economically important" asset for the commonwealth. 

The governor was one of nearly 100 people who turned out for the formal ribbon-cutting opening of the 580-megawatt, combined-cycle power station in Buckingham County. 

"Bear Garden symbolizes more than just electricity to power our homes and businesses," McDonnell said. "It is jobs and tax dollars for the local region, and it is an important economic development asset. It means that Virginia will meet our growth in energy demand with new clean, affordable and reliable generation projects, and assurance is critical to attracting new businesses and industries to the state." 

The power station, which began serving Dominion's customer on May 23, produces enough electricity to power 147,500 homes. Construction on the $619-million station began in April 2009. More than 700 workers were on site at the peak of construction. The station will have 24 permanent jobs and provide more than $1 million annually in taxes to Buckingham County. 

"Bear Garden is the first of several planned additions to our generating fleet to come on-line as a part of our 'Powering Virginia' strategy," said David A. Christian, chief executive officer of Dominion Generation. "Virginia remains a growing state. Our obligation is to meet our customers' demand for electricity at reasonable cost." 

Dominion's "Powering Virginia" strategy is designed to ensure continuation of reliable service to the company's 2.3 million Virginia electric customers while meeting projected demand growth of 4,500 megawatts by 2021. The strategy includes adding a mix of new generation sources and energy efficiency programs, and upgrading and expanding the transmission and distribution network to minimize fuel expenses while improving reliability. 

Future generation projects the company is developing include:
• The 585-megawatt Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County Virginia. The station will be powered by a mixture of coal and biomass and is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2012.

• Warrren County Power Station, an approximately 1,300-megawatt natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power station, near Front Royal. The company currently is seeking State Corporation Commission approval for the station and, if approved, plans to have it in operation by late 2014.

• Repowering Bremo Power Station in Fluvanna County, converting it from a coal-fired station to one operating with natural gas.

• Converting three small power stations in Hopewell, Southampton and Altavista from coal to biomass, creating more than 150 megawatts of renewable energy.

• A 4-megawatt solar project in Halifax County.

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