The newest member of Dominion Virginia Power's electric generation fleet, 1,329-megawatt Warren County Power Station, has entered into commercial operation.
The natural gas-fired power station is located just north of Front Royal, Va., and can produce enough electricity to power about 325,000 homes at peak demand. The $1.1 billion facility came in on time and under budget.
"Our newest power station is a welcome addition to a generating fleet that is already one of the cleanest and most-reliable in the nation," said David A. Christian, chief executive officer-Dominion Generation. "It fills a critical need to meet growing demand in the Commonwealth and in Northern Virginia in particular. It is built to be both environmentally and economically efficient, promoting quality of life as well as economic development."
The use of environmentally cleaner natural gas at the station melds well with Dominion's goal to maintain reliable service, meet growing customer demand and keep rates low, Christian said. The company operates a diverse mix of generation that includes nuclear, coal, hydro, natural gas and renewables, such as wind and solar.
Construction started in March 2012. At the peak more than 1,500 workers were on site. Now complete, the station will be staffed by about 40 full-time employees.
Post-construction economic benefits are expected to be more than $35 million annually. It also is projected that about 100 jobs will be supported directly and indirectly, with most located in Warren County.
The station has more than 350 miles of electrical cable and 35 miles of pipe. The 37,000 cubic yards of concrete used in the construction is enough to pave an 8-mile stretch of two-lane highway.
Warren County Power Station now holds the honor of being the largest natural gas-fueled generating facility in the state. It is expected to relinquish that title in 2016, when its sister station, Dominion's 1360-megawatt Brunswick Power Station, in Brunswick County, is scheduled to come on line.