Residents and Enviros Slam New Dominion Gas Power Plant As ‘Slap In the Face’

"Virginia’s largest utility provider has faced a backlash from the state’s environmental community since it announced plans to build a new, large fossil fuel facility in Chesterfield."

"Over the course of three hours on Thursday evening, the beige-paneled walls of the SpringHill Suites Hotel in Chester, Virginia played host to a sometimes-contentious meeting between Dominion Energy, the state’s largest utility provider, and residents of the Chesterfield community, where Dominion has proposed to build a new natural gas power plant.

The plant, called the “Chesterfield Energy Reliability Center” by the utility, has been billed as a “peaker,” meaning it would only run during periods of high demand or during extreme weather events. Dominion says this plant would “respond quickly with reliable, dispatchable power generation to the grid when needed,” including when renewable energy is unavailable or “insufficient to meet customer needs.”

Dominion, Virginia’s largest utility, has operated another fossil fuel power plant in Chesterfield since the mid-20th century, and estimates that the new Chesterfield plant could run, at most, for almost five months a year.

“We are deeply concerned with Dominion’s refusal to truly change course and move toward a clean and equitable energy system,” said Rachel James, a Chesterfield resident and an associate attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, at a press conference hosted by environmental organizations ahead of the public meeting."

Jake Bolster reports for Inside Climate News November 18, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 11/20/2023