RICHMOND, Va., May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), began commercial operations Monday at its Bear Garden Power Station in central Virginia, generating electricity to meet Virginia's growing demand for energy with environmentally clean natural gas.
The 580-megawatt, 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 represents an important milestone for Dominion," said David A. Christian, chief executive officer-Dominion Generation. "It is one of several planned additions to our generating fleet to come on-line as part of our 'Powering Virginia' strategy. Virginia remains a growing state. Our obligation is to meet our customers' demand for electricity at reasonable cost."
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 megawatts of electricity. Superheated exhaust from the turbines is used to generate steam that spins another turbine, producing an additional 240 megawatts.
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 megawatts 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 is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,200 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Video, B-roll and a hi-res aerial photo of Dominion's Bear Garden Power Station is available on the Dominion Media Downloads website: