Dominion Energy files preliminary application for new hydroelectric facility in US


Dominion Energy has filed a preliminary application with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to establish a new pumped hydroelectric storage facility in Southwest Virginia, US.

The application includes a potential 4,100 acre site in Tazewell County.

Dominion Energy has also contracted Virginia Tech to carry out a feasibility study on a second site at the abandoned Bullitt mine in Wise County to explore its potential. If it receives positive results, the company plans to file a second preliminary permit application.

Dominion Energy generation construction vice-president Mark Mitchell said: “We are on parallel paths with performing studies on these two sites.

"The FERC application for the Tazewell site will allow us to proceed with the rigorous environmental, geological, archaeological, and technical studies."

“The FERC application for the Tazewell site will allow us to proceed with the rigorous environmental, geological, archaeological, and technical studies, while further assessing the economics of the project.

“In addition, the detailed study on the mine site allows us to explore the feasibility of abandoned mine cavities for pumped hydroelectric storage. We expect to make a decision on which site to advance by mid-2018.”

According to Dominion Energy, the Tazewell site could support multiple configurations such as multiple-sized pumped-storage facilities.

The company could also pursue other potential sites for its new facility, which is estimated to require an investment of $2bn. The project will create hundreds of jobs during construction and up to 50 permanent positions once completed.