• $500 million cooling system to reduce water use by more than 90 percent; Dominion's environmental investments at Brayton Point to total $1.1 billion; Agreement clears the way for long-term operation of a key generating facility
RICHMOND, VA, Dec. 21, 2007 -- A unit of Dominion has agreed to invest approximately $500 million to reduce dramatically the amount of cooling water its Brayton Point Power Station uses from Mt. Hope Bay, thereby minimizing the station's thermal impact on the bay.
This investment by Dominion New England, combined with previously announced air emissions equipment being installed at the station, will bring the company's investments in environmental improvements at Brayton Point to approximately $1.1 billion since the station was acquired in 2005.
"As one of the largest electricity generators in New England, Brayton Point plays a vital role in ensuring reliable electric service for the region," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Dominion's investments to improve air and water quality also will help ensure that it is one of the most environmentally advanced facilities of its kind. We now have established a clear path for operating these generating units well into the future and supplying much-needed electricity to New England."
Working in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and several environmental groups, Dominion has agreed to install a closed-loop system that will reduce the amount of cooling water Brayton Point requires by more than 90 percent. Dominion also dropped its appeal of the EPA permit filed in federal court.
Brayton Point now uses about 1 billion gallons of water each day from Mt. Hope Bay.
Dominion is installing controls at Brayton Point to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury. The $600 million being invested in those projects is part of $3.4 billion in a previously announced, company- wide commitment to improve air quality and environmental performance at its operations. Dominion also has invested in an ash recovery system that offsets about 170,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year and reduces landfill needs.
Dominion will construct two natural draft cooling towers for all four electricity generating units to comply with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Dominion is committed to completing the construction in an expeditious fashion to achieve the necessary reduction outlined in the permit.
Brayton Point is New England's largest fossil-fueled power station, with two coal-fired units and one oil-fired unit generating a total net summer capability of 1,568 megawatts. It is located about 30 miles south of Boston and 13 miles east of Providence, R.I. and is capable of burning coal, natural gas and oil. Brayton Point supplies 16 percent of the electricity used in Massachusetts and 8 percent of New England's needs.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of more than 26,500 megawatts of generation and 7,800 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline.