May 11, 2006
May 11, 2006
LEBANON, Va. – Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation’s largest energy producers, Virginia State Sen. William Wampler of Bristol and Southwest Virginia officials announced Thursday that a reclaimed surface coal mine site in Wise County has been chosen for final evaluation for a clean coal power station.
The selection of the Virginia City site near St. Paul, Va., is consistent with a 2004 Virginia General Assembly initiative, which Wampler sponsored, encouraging the development of a coal power station in Southwest Virginia to provide energy for Virginians. A consortium of energy companies, led by Dominion, studied several sites before selecting the Wise County location for further evaluation.
"This announcement today is good news for Southwest Virginia and — more importantly — for all families and businesses in the Commonwealth," said Wampler, R-Bristol. "I want to thank Dominion for its commitment to our state and this region when it comes to providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable electricity for all our citizens."
The Virginia City site meets the major criteria for the project to proceed, including an adequate fuel and water supply, electrical transmission requirements, construction logistics and minimal environmental impact.
Environmental permits and regulatory approvals over the next few years, including those from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the State Corporation Commission, must be obtained after additional evaluations are completed before the decision to proceed is made.
"I am very pleased by Dominion’s selection of a site for the future development of a new clean-coal power generation plant in Wise County," said U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Abingdon. "I will work with Dominion to ensure all federal regulatory requirements are resolved as expeditiously as possible."
Charles S. Yates, executive director of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, said, "A major component of our economic development philosophy is to add value to our natural resources before they leave the region. This project will do that, as well as create a significant number of jobs and a substantial investment in the local economy."
Joining Dominion in the consortium are the Blue Ridge Power Agency; Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power; the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative; and Virginia Municipal Electric Association #1.
"Dominion and its partners are very appreciative for the cooperation of VCEDA and local government officials, regional and state economic development experts who have assisted us," said James K. Martin, Dominion vice president-Fossil & Hydro Technical Services.
If constructed, the power station would use Virginia coal in advanced circulating fluidized bed technology. This proven clean-coal technology also enables the using of waste coal and renewable energy sources, such as wood waste.
CFB technology combined with modern post-combustion controls has low emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and mercury. This technology is compatible with the need to be able to use a wide variety of fuels available in the region and compatible with the requirement to construct and operate a facility in an environmentally responsible manner that minimizes overall impact to air, water and land resources.
"Virginia City scores highest on site assessment criteria, and CFB technology offers environmental performance and fuel flexibility, creating the best combination of location and generating technology," said Martin.
The 500-600 megawatt project would create 800 jobs during construction as well as 75 at the station and 250 mining jobs once the station is operating. It would also add significantly to local tax revenue and be a boost to the local economy — all while providing clean, reliable and economic electricity for Virginia families and businesses.
The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the economic base of the seven-county, one-city coal-producing area of the Commonwealth. Southwestern Virginia counties — Lee, Wise, Scott, Buchanan, Russell, Tazewell and Dickenson — and the City of Norton comprise the region. Touting a strong work ethic, tailored training programs, a ready workforce, industrial and technology parks, and available buildings, VCEDA promotes this region-in-transition to businesses looking for a new home or expansion site.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with an energy portfolio of about 28,100 megawatts of electric generation, about 6.3 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas reserves and 7,800 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline. Dominion also operates the nation's largest underground natural gas storage system with more than 950 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in nine states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com.
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David Botkins, Dominion, (804) 771-6115