Dominion Energy narrows search for Virginia pumped storage project to Tazewell site

Dominion Energy Virginia says it is focused on choosing a site for construction of a proposed pumped hydroelectric storage power station in Tazewell County, Virginia. HydroWorld previously reported that Dominion was conducting studies at the Tazewell and Bullitt Mine sites.

However, the company decided not to pursue development at the site of the former Bullitt Mine, located near the town of Appalachia, based on analysis of the site by the Virginia Center for Coal & Energy Research. The review indicated that the Bullitt Mine is not suitable for a utility-scale pumped storage project.

Dominion Energy says it will spend the remainder of this year and part of next year conducting more extensive surveys of an East River Mountain site in Tazewell County. These studies will include the examination of potential water sources in the area, beginning with an investigation of Wolf Creek in Bland County.

The company plans to expand its search for a reliable water source to fill and maintain the station’s two reservoirs. A previous investigation focused on a flooded coal mine in Amonate, but the amount of water was determined to be inadequate.

According to a study by Richmond-based firm Chmura Economics & Analytics, a 10-year development and construction window could bring more than 2,000 jobs to Southwest Virginia and create nearly $320 million in total economic impact for the region, along with about $12 million annually in tax revenue for local governments.

Dominion Energy operates the 3,000-MW Bath County pumped storage station, the largest of its kind in the U.S. Dominion Energy owns the Bath County facility jointly with several other companies.

Nearly 7.5 million customers in 18 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy, headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company says it expects to cut generating fleet carbon dioxide emissions 80% by 2050 and reduce methane emissions from its gas assets 50% by 2030.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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