In a move that will decrease the levels of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, mercury and particulate emissions, Dominion Virginia Power is planning to switch three of its coal-fired power plants to biomass burning facilities.
Located in the counties of Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton in Virginia, US, the three identical facilities could begin handling biomass in 2013, following the approval by local governments, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
The coal-to-biomass conversion will see the three power plants produce 50MW renewable energy each and meet the US EPA emissions standards.
Dominion's decision to convert these three facilities from coal to biomass will help the state meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard – a voluntary standard that aims for 15% of the company's power to come from renewable materials by 2025.
According to the CEO of Dominion Generation David Christian, the application to convert the three facilities to using biomass will deliver green electricity to the firm's customers, generated from a renewable, low-cost feedstock.