Dominion Virginia Power (NYSE:D) announced today that it proposes to invest more than $1 billion to build a combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power station in Brunswick County.
Dominion expects to ask the Virginia State Corporation Commission later this year for permission to build the Brunswick County Power Station. With a generating capacity of more than 1,300 megawatts, the station would be completed by the summer of 2016. The station would produce enough electricity to power more than 325,000 homes.
Output from the Brunswick County facility would replace the electricity generated by coal units at two eastern Virginia stations that are planned to be retired and would help meet customers' growing demand for electricity.
"The Brunswick County site offers us an ideal location to generate electricity to serve Southside Virginia and Hampton Roads reliably and will help us close the gap of 4,000 megawatts in additional peak demand that our customers are expected to need within the next decade," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Dominion, the parent company of Virginia's largest electric utility.
"We expect this new power station to operate very efficiently and reduce the amount of power that we have to import from outside the Commonwealth. Building this station also is the best, most cost-effective and reliable way to meet the latest federal clean-air standards," Farrell said.
"The proposed Brunswick County Power Station has the potential to be the largest single economic development project in the history of Brunswick County," said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. "The station will create good paying jobs for local residents, both during construction and after. And it will generate cleaner energy to help meet the increasing demands of our growing Commonwealth in the years ahead. This is a positive announcement for the economy of Southern Virginia, and for the energy needs of the entire state."
Dominion announced last September that it would likely retire several coal-fired units at its Chesapeake Energy Center in Chesapeake and Yorktown Power Station by 2016. It is more cost-effective to close the units than install environmental control equipment necessary to meet new federal environmental regulations. The switch from coal to natural gas with the Brunswick County station would result in a net environmental benefit for the Commonwealth.
PJM Interconnection LLC, the regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states, including Virginia and the District of Columbia, reported in its annual forecast that customers will need 4,000 megawatts more of electricity from Dominion during peak demand in 2022 than it does today.
If approved by state regulators, Brunswick County Power Station would be built on a 205-acre site on U.S. Route 58 east of Lawrenceville. At least 600 workers would be on site during construction. The station would provide about 30 full-time jobs and pay annual property taxes of between $3.5 million to $4 million when operational.
Dominion already has received the necessary conditional use permits from the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors to build the station and has applied to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for the air permit.
Dominion proposes new 1300 MW gas-fired power plant