Dominion unit says 3 power plants to switch to biomass

Fri Apr 1, 2011 9:44am EDT

(Reuters) - Major power producer Dominion Resources Inc's Virginia unit said it plans to convert three power stations from using coal to biomass.

If the conversion is approved, the plants could begin burning biomass in 2013, it said in a statement.

The company said the total economic impact over the 30-year life of the stations would be more than $350 million, including $30 million in local taxes and $180 million for the creation of more than 300 hundred jobs in the forestry and trucking industries.

Once converted, the power plants will generate 50 megawatts (MW) each and operate all the time, compared with the current peak production of 63 MW.

Biomass, a renewable energy source, uses biological material to generate electricity or heat. The company said the stations would use waste wood left from timbering operations to produce fuel.

Dominion also added that the fuel switch would meet the new emissions standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and reduce nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulate emissions.

The power stations, which started operations in 1992, are located in Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County.

Dominion Resources' shares closed at $44.7 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
xjereme wrote:
Are you kidding me? Did you catch how they are going to use wood as a main fuel to run these plants? No, we dont approve of this. You idiots! Grow hemp—faster to grow, stronger material, better biomass!

Apr 01, 2011 4:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
xjereme wrote:
This will only fuel the destruction of our World’s precious forests. Real intelligent?!

Apr 01, 2011 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.