Wednesday, June 25, 2008

AP: With conditions, utility gets OK for Va. power plant

The Virginia City power plant in Wise County, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, has been given the green light. From the AP via WKYT/WYMT:

A state board gave final approval Wednesday to Dominion Virginia Power's proposed $1.8 billion coal-fired power plant in the far southwestern corner of the state.

The 5-0 decision by the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board includes conditions intended to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and mercury. It also requires Dominion to convert a coal-fired plant in central Virginia to natural gas. The vote was the last major hurdle to construction of the 585-megawatt Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise, about 150 miles west of Roanoke. It is scheduled to go on line in 2012.

In a statement, the utility said: "We have not yet had the opportunity to review the final permits, but this decision paves the way for us to start construction in the very near future."
Proponents have said the energy plant would create jobs in the economically depressed region and a new market for Virginia coal. Environmentalists have raised health and safety concerns about mining of coal for the plant and the effects of the sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions.

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