Dominion Virginia Power (NYSE: D) hosts official groundbreaking ceremony for the 1,360-megawatt Brunswick County natural gas power station. The combined-cycle power station, which was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission in August of 2013, will serve growing customer demand and replace electricity from aging coal-fired power stations that are being retired for economic and environmental reasons.
The commission also approved a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for transmission interconnection facilities needed to tie the station to the grid. The transmission facilities include a 13.5-mile long 500kv transmission line that will connect the station to an existing transmission line.
Construction began last September, and the station is currently about 17 percent complete and on budget and schedule to be generating electricity by the summer of 2016. The station currently has nearly 600 workers on site and that number is expected to grow to more than a 1,000 at the height of construction this fall.
"Responsible economic growth is always welcomed in Virginia, but when we can locate those ventures in our more rural counties, it is a blessing," said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. "For the Commonwealth as a whole and Brunswick County in particular, Dominion's $1.3 billion investment means tax dollars and jobs. Even better, the extension of the gas pipeline to serve this power station offers the promise of even more economic growth in the future."
Brunswick County Power Station will use natural gas to fire three combustion turbines – essentially super-sized jet engines – to generate about 810 megawatts. The heated air from the combustion turbines will be captured and used to create steam that will spin another turbine to produce about 550 megawatts. The station's total output of 1,360 megawatts can provide electricity for about 340,000 homes.
"The Brunswick County Power Station's capital investment of $1.3 billion represents the largest single investment in our county's history," said Brunswick County Administrator Dr. Charlette T. Woolridge. "This investment results in a 45 percent increase in our general property taxes. With these additional revenues, we can ensure that we have stronger schools that will provide our children with the solid foundation necessary for rewarding careers and lucrative incomes; and make it easier for us to provide other valuable public services to our citizens."
With natural gas as its fuel, the station is expected to save customers more than $1 billion over its expected life compared with the next-best option for supplying power.