Dominion makes final decision to close 10 coal and gas-fired units in Virginia
- Dominion Energy has made a final decision to permanently shutter 10 older and less-efficient generating units that can no longer compete profitably. The utility had previously put the units into cold storage, taking a wait-and-see approach on whether to bring them back online.
- The units include a mixture of coal and gas-fired resources, along with one biomass unit. There are no job losses associated with the decision, the company said.
- Dominion has almost 2,000 MW of renewables generation across its utility territories and is working to grow emissions-free generation, but maintained the option to restart the 10 units for more than a year. Company officials say there is little chance energy market conditions will change, prompting the permanent closures.
The economics have not changed since Dominion put the 10 units in cold storage, as cleaner and more-efficient generation continues to dominate the market. Ultimately, the utility determined there was no reason to wait longer.
"These are smaller, older, less-efficient units that could not compete in the current energy market, and we did not see that changing," Dominion spokesman Dan Genest told Utility Dive.
The recent decision to close them permanently was made "for the same reason they were put into cold reserve in the first place," said Genest.
All of the units are in Virginia, and are located at Dominion's Chesterfield, Bremo, Bellemeade, Pittsylvania and Possum Point power plants.
Earlier this month, Dominion announced efforts to ensure the Millstone nuclear plant would not close. The utility inked a contract with Connecticut utilities for more than half the output of the 2.1 GW plant. The company had said it was at risk of retirement.
Nuclear makes up a third of the utility's power mix, with natural gas making up another third. Coal composes just 25% and renewable energy a little more than 5%. The 10 units being retired make up just a fraction of its fleet — less than 1% of its generation.
- Richmond Times-Dispatch Dominion to retire old, coal-burning power units
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