ST. PAUL, Va., July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power placed the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Southwest Virginia into commercial operation late Tuesday, on budget and on schedule following four years of construction.
The $1.8-billion circulating fluidized bed (CFB) project uses coal, waste coal and biomass – waste wood – to generate 585 megawatts, enough electricity for more than 146,000 homes at peak demand. The station is among the cleanest U.S. coal-fired power stations in terms of air emissions with one of the nation's strictest air permits, which Dominion is able to meet through the CFB clean-coal technology plus emission controls.
"Virginia City is an important addition to our balanced, diverse energy mix that has kept our rates reasonable for our customers. The use of low-cost waste coal and biomass will result in the unit having favorable economics, bringing savings to customers," said David A. Christian, chief executive officer of Dominion Generation, which operates the company's power stations. "The power station also has proven to be an economic booster shot for Southwest Virginia."
The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC) project employed nearly 2,400 construction workers at its peak. An independent study done for Wise County by Virginia Tech estimated that VCHEC would generate $258.5 million in economic activity for Southwest Virginia annually once it began operations. The company will pay more than $6 million per year in local taxes to St. Paul and Wise County over the next decade.
The station will employ 84 people directly and a Dominion subcontractor will employ another 25. Virginia Tech estimated the total direct and indirect employment impact of VCHEC after construction would be 528 people, with most of them coming from the coal-mining and trucking sectors.
PJM Interconnection LLC, the independent transmission operator that coordinates the electricity grid in all or parts of 13 states including Virginia and the District of Columbia, has projected that Dominion will need 4,000 megawatts of additional electricity by 2022 to meet the peak demand from its customers.
Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,000 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
A high-resolution photo of the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center is available at:
A video featuring the power station is available at: http://youtu.be/iF4vA6C-Hqs
SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power