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Industry News

Virginia Air Board Approves Dominion's Coal-fired Plant

LCG, June 26, 2008--The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board yesterday unanimously approved permits for the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, a $1.8 billion project of Dominion Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion. The proposed 585-MW power plant will be located in southwest Virginia and use a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology to burn coal and up to 20 percent biomass.

The air permits granted by the Air Board allow Dominion to proceed to the construction phase for the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, with operations scheduled to commence by 2012. However, a Dominion spokesperson stated, "We have not yet had the opportunity to review the final permits, but this decision paves the way for us to start construction in the very near future."

The Air Board modified the emission standards recommended by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on some pollutants, including mercury, sulfur and carbon oxides. To meet the annual mercury emission limit of 4.45 pounds, the facility will include activated carbon injection (ACI) technology.

To reduce overall emissions, Dominion will also convert two older coal-fired units at the Bremo Power Station to natural gas.

The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center will burn Virginia coal, waste coal from "gob" piles resulting from mining operations, and wood wastes and residues. After operations commence, the energy center is required to use a minimum of five percent wood wastes within three years, with the requirement increasing one percent annually until a ten percent requirement is reached.

The State Corporation Commission found in November 2006 that the construction of a coal-fired electric generating plant in southwest Virginia that uses Virginia coal is "in the public interest." Dominion Virginia Power submitted its application with the State Corporation Commission for permission to build the facility in July 2007. At that time, the estimated cost of the plant was $1.6 billion.
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