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Dominion Virginia Power to convert coal plants to biomass

Biomass fuel supplier Enviva has signed an agreement with Dominion Virginia Power in the US to supply biomass to two power facilities in southeast Virginia.

Dominion plans to convert three of its 63MW coal burning power plants into 50MW biomass plants that will create continuous electricity generation.

Enviva is to supply two of these, in Southampton and Hopewell (a third is also to be converted in Altavista), if Dominion receives approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) for the conversions.

Converting the plants is expected to cost $165.8 million (€119 million) excluding carrying costs. In its submission to the VSCC, Dominion says it anticipates a first year revenue of $7.2 million which would be necessary to recover the financing costs associated with the conversions.

Dominion also proposes to increase the monthly bill of residents by $0.14 per 1,000kWh from April 2012 to March 2013. The VSCC will is currently receiving public comments on the conversions and has scheduled a hearing to decide whether to approve the changes for 10 January 2012.