Feb 19, 2008
February 19, 2008
RICHMOND, Va. – Dozens of people - including state and local elected officials, business owners and other citizens - signed up Tuesday night to speak in favor of Dominion's proposed Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center at a public hearing held by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Many more supporters attended the hearing in Henrico County but did not sign up to speak.
The show of support follows an outpouring of hundreds of project backers who came to two days of public hearings that the department held last week in the town of St. Paul, not far from the site selected for the 585-megawatt clean-coal power station in Wise County. More than 2,000 have signed petitions in support of the station.
During the last week, additional endorsements have come from a Southwest Virginia county and two regional newspapers.
The Scott County Board of Supervisors joined Wise County, Tazewell County and St. Paul in endorsing the station. In its resolution, the Scott County board lauded the fact the station “will be coal-fired with up to 20 percent biomass and will help clean up waste coal piles in Southwest Virginia, thereby improving water quality.”
In its editorial endorsing the project, the Kingsport, Tenn., Times-News said: “Dominion’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center represents not only a potential boon to the region’s economy but a necessary and responsible step in meeting energy demand.”
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph wrote: “We can not advise against building a plant that will provide jobs, feed families and provide a much-needed economic boost in a region that has struggled through many hard times.”
Dominion has proposed a circulating fluidized bed technology for the station that will be able to burn a variety of fuels, including biomass and waste coal, or gob. The millions of tons of gob in the region can leach acidic and other harmful compounds that pose a risk to numerous waterways.
The station will have the latest in emissions controls and will meet or do better than standards required by all state and federal regulations designed to protect human health and the environment. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Forest Service said in mid-December that Dominion’s air emissions plans would protect sensitive environmental areas.
Dominion made its proposal in a Feb. 1 letter to David K. Paylor, director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
During construction, the station would provide nearly 1,000 jobs. Once it begins operating in 2012 it will employ more than 75 people and will create about 350 mining jobs. A Virginia Tech economic impact study said the station will generate about $4.4 million a year in tax revenues and other benefits for Wise County.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 26,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 11 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at http://www.dom.com.
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Dan Genest, (804) 771-6115
Laura Kottkamp, (804) 819-2254