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A Dominion Virginia Power power plant is located in central Virginia, USA beside the James River at Dutch Gap.

Dominion Virginia Power is a power company primarily located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The company is a division of Dominion Resources. The company's foundings date back to the beginnings of the United States and include such luminaries as James Madison and George Washington.

Contents

History

Controversies

Even after a rate increase of 18.3% due to increased fuel costs (effective July 1, 2008), Dominion's residential rates remain 6% below the national average. A typical residential customer, using 1000 kwh, would have a monthly bill of $107.20.

A recent law that the Virginia General Assembly enacted will limit Dominion Virginia's rate increases to 4% in 2008 and 2009.

A number of controversies have surrounded the company's decisions to develop new routes for its electric power transmission lines. If Dominion Virginia were to implement these, construction of such lines might displace people, adversely impact scenic views, and destroy many trees. On February 13, 2007, the Washington Post reported that the power company was planning to change the route of one such proposed power line in Northern Virginia to appease critics. However, U.S. Congressional Representative Frank Wolf (Republican - Virginia) and others remained opposed to the line.[1]

A year later, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved on February 15, 2008 a controversial proposal for a Dominion Virginia transmission line that would travel above ground for 1.8 miles (2.9 km) along a wooded portion of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park between Leesburg and Clarks Gap in Loudoun County.[2][3] Less than three weeks later, on March 4 and March 5, 2008, the Senate and the House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly unanimously passed emergency legislation that ordered the SCC to approve the underground construction of the line along that section of the trail as part of a state-wide pilot program for the development of such types of transmission lines. Sponsored by Delegate Joe T. May (Republican - Loudoun), the legislation exempted the project from any requirements for further SCC analyses relating to the impacts of the route, including environmental impacts and impacts upon historical resources. The legislation went into effect when Virginia Governor Tim Kaine approved it on April 2, 2008.[4]

Dominion Virginia also has operations in North Carolina. A dam at its Roanoke Rapids power station in that state produces hydroelectric power.[5]

Dominion Virginia gave almost $707,000 to Virginia politicians in 2005.[6]

The company is constructing a coal fired power station in Wise County, Virginia and in September 2008 the site was blockaded by activists for the Rainforest Action Network. The protesters oppose the plant due to climate change and mountaintop removal mining issues.[7] The plant's carbon dioxide emissions are currently projected to be 5.4 million tons per year.[8] Additionally, because the plant will burn a small amount of waste coal known as "gob," its mercury emissions will be higher than average - up to 49 pounds per year. By contrast, a recently-built plant in Seward, Pennsylvania that burns only waste coal produces 2% of the amount the Wise County plant is expected to produce.[9]

References

  1. ^ Shear, M.D., and Gardner, A., "Power Line to Track Existing N.Va. Route", Washington Post, February 13, 2007, Page A01.
  2. ^ Western Loudoun County Powerline Project: Pleasant View-Hamilton 230kV Line home page, Map of approved transmission line route, SCC Approval: Pleasant View-Hamilton Project; Case No. PUE-2005-00018, and SCC Final Order: Case No. PUE-2005-00018 in Dominion Virginia Power official website Accessed March 21, 2008.
  3. ^ Section of W&OD Railroad Regional Park approved for transmission line route: From W&OD Trail Mile 36.2 at coordinates 39°06′51″N 77°35′50″W / 39.114029°N 77.597283°W / 39.114029; -77.597283 (W&OD Transmission line route at Trail Mile 36.2) to Trail Mile 38.0 at coordinates 39°08′15″N 77°36′33″W / 39.137417°N 77.609246°W / 39.137417; -77.609246 (Transmission line route at Trail Mile 38.0). Accessed March 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Legislative history of HB 1319: "Underground transmission lines; pilot program established" and Text of H 1319 (2008 Virginia Acts of Assembly -- Chapter 799): "An Act to establish a pilot program to place certain transmission lines underground." in Virginia General Assembly official web site Accessed April 17, 2008.
  5. ^ "Roanoke Rapids Power Station" page in Dominion Virginia official website Accessed June 2, 2008.
  6. ^ Policyarchive.org
  7. ^ "Protesters From Across the Country Join Wise County VA Residents to Oppose Coal Plant’s Impact on Environment and Health and to Demand a Clean Energy Future". Rainforest Action Network. 2008-09-15. http://cms.ran.org/media_center/news_article/?uid=4770. Retrieved 2008-09-16.  
  8. ^ Chesapeakeclimage.org
  9. ^ Southernenvironment.org

External links

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