- The head of Dominion Energy's generation unit announced Wednesday the company intends to place nine generation units at five plants in Virginia into "cold reserve," where they would not run but could be restarted if necessary.
- The units are mostly coal-fired or converted coal plants that now run gas, according to the Associated Press. At three of the five affected plants, there will be no units running after they are put into reserve.
- Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 25,700 megawatts of electric generation. Renewable generation — either under development or in operation — is almost 2,000 MW spread across nine states.
The units Dominion is powering down and putting in reserve represent just a fraction of its fleet — less than 1% of its generation, AP reported — but they illustrate the direction the utility's fuel mix is heading.
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 is a small but growing slice — a little more than 5%.
Of the energy it delivers to utility customers, a third is nuclear, a third is gas and about a quarter is coal-fired generation. Renewables are a small slice, more than 5%, but it is growing.
In November, Dominion said it would relicense two units at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va. That announcement came on the heels of the company putting on hold expansion plans at the facility after it secured a combined operating and construction license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The company's regulated utility in Virginia, Dominion Virginia Power, in its most recent Integrated Resource Plan said the company was planning to add 5,200 MW of new solar generation to its grid over the next 25 years.
Earlier this month, Dominion Energy and SCANA Corp. announced an all-stock merger that aims to lower customer rates and help deal with SCANA's financial obligations related to the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear project.
The merger would result in a company that operates in 18 states across the country, with an electric generating portfolio of 31,400 megawatts. The company will also have a natural gas pipeline network totaling 106,400 miles and one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 1 trillion cubic feet of capacity.
The Virginia power plants where Dominion is putting some units on hold include the Bellemeade, Bremo, Chesterfield, Mecklenburg and Possum Point facilities.