Virginia brings a new coal-fired plant online.
Herbert Wheary (email@example.com) is a private consultant on energy policy in Richmond, Va. The opinions in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Commonwealth of Virginia or Dominion Resources.
Recently a new coal-fired power station in Southwest Virginia went into commercial operation. This event stands in stark contrast with the current national trend away from coal for power generation, which was already developing before the present abundance of natural gas. Numerous coal-fired power stations were proposed by utilities during the brief coal renaissance of the past decade, but many have been canceled largely due to the substantial barriers that stand in the way of siting, permitting, and licensing.
Despite increasingly stringent environmental regulations and other challenges, a few coal-fired plants have made it through to completion and are supplying power to customers. One such station is the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. The Virginia City station went on the grid with approximately 600 MW on July 10, 2012. What enabled this project to succeed while others failed?