Dominion to seek air permit for proposed Chesterfield gas plant
Dominion Energy’s plans to build a new natural gas plant in Chesterfield will require a state permit for major new sources of emissions, state air quality regulators said Wednesday.
Mike Dowd, the Department of Environmental Quality’s director of air and renewable energy, told the State Air Pollution Control Board the plant will require a prevention of significant deterioration, or PSD, permit.
Over the summer, Dominion revived plans for a new natural gas plant that would be sited adjacent to its fossil fuel facility in Chesterfield County, saying the facility is needed to meet a projected increase in electricity demand from data centers and electric vehicles. Because the new units are intended to generate power when the grid is experiencing peak demand, they are called peakers.
“This project, the Chesterfield Reliable Energy Center, is all about reliability and keeping our customers’ lights on, especially on the hottest and coldest day of the year,” said Dominion spokesperson Jeremy Slayton. “We need a balanced energy mix with renewables and always ready natural gas working hand in hand.”
The plans call for four simple cycle combustion turbines capable of generating 250 megawatts of electricity each. Natural gas would be the primary fuel source, with oil and possibly hydrogen as backups.
There would also be six generators and eight oil storage tanks that would be able to provide fuel for about seven days. Dowd said the storage is needed in case a cold snap like the one experienced throughout Virginia around Christmas 2022 limits the availability of natural gas for power plants.
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