Dominion Virginia Power brings 580 MW power station into service

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Richmond, Va., May 24, 2011 Dominion Virginia Power, a unit of Dominion, began commercial operations at its Bear Garden Power Station in central Virginia, generating electricity to meet Virginia’s growing demand for energy.

The 580-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power station will produce enough electricity to power 146,000 homes. Bear Garden is expected to reduce the amount of electricity that is brought into Virginia, which is second only to California among the states in the amount of imported electricity.

Bear Garden, which was built on budget and on schedule, is about 60 miles west of Richmond in Buckingham County. The $619-million station received approval from the Virginia State Corporation in March 2009 and construction began a month later.

More than 800 workers were on site at the peak of construction. The station will have 24 permanent jobs and provide more than $1 million annually in taxes to Buckingham County.

The station features two combustion turbine units fired by natural gas with oil as a backup fuel source.

The combustion turbines each generate 170 MW of electricity. Superheated exhaust from the turbines is used to generate steam that spins another turbine, producing an additional 240 MW.

The “Powering Virginia” strategy is designed to ensure continuation of reliable service to the company’s 2.3 million Virginia electric customers while meeting projected demand growth of 4,500 MW by 2021.

The strategy includes adding a mix of new generation sources and energy efficiency programs, and upgrading and expanding the transmission and distribution network to minimize fuel expenses while improving reliability.

Dominion operates a portfolio of about 27,600 MW of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,200 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates a natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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