July 17, 2007 / 2:34 PM / 12 years ago

Dominion seeks approval for Va. coal power plant

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) - Dominion Resources Inc.’s (D.N) Dominion Virginia Power subsidiary filed Monday with Virginia utility regulators for permission to build a 585-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Southwest Virginia to help meet the state’s growing demand for electricity.

Dominion said it wanted the State Corporation Commission to approve of the projected $1.6 billion Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center by April 2008 to allow adequate time to complete the plant by 2012.

The commission must approve the construction and operation of the energy center and it must establish a rate of return for the company’s investment in the project.

Dominion said it would use circulating fluidized bed technology in the facility and make it carbon-capture compatible, meaning the company could add technology to capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, when that technology becomes commercially available.

Dominion plans to build the station on a 1,700-acre site near St. Paul in Wise County about 340 miles west of Richmond, Virginia. It would provide enough power to serve 146,000 residential customers.

The station would employ up to 800 workers during construction and 75 full-time employees once complete.

It would also create about 350 mining jobs in the area since under a state law encouraging the construction of the station it will use Virginia coal.

The company, which has committed to reaching a goal of having 12 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022, said the plant would be able to use a wide range of coal qualities, including waste coal, and up to 20 percent biomass.

Dominion, of Richmond, Virginia, owns and operates more than 26,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes electricity and natural gas to customers in 11 states.

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