RICHMOND, Va., -- Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation’s largest energy producers, will provide $500,000 to the Virginia Center for Coal & Energy Research at Virginia Tech to help the center find a way to keep carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
The Virginia Tech center is planning a full-scale storage demonstration project in Southwest Virginia. The additional funding will make it possible for this Virginia Tech research program to qualify for funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.
"I am very pleased Dominion is greatly expanding its support of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research and the carbon storage project," said Dr. Michael Karmis, director of the center. "We at VCCER believe this project represents an important step in carbon management. Dominion's support is invaluable in this effort moving forward."
"With no proven technology currently available to utilities, this proposal presents a unique opportunity to make history," said Mark F. McGettrick, president and chief executive officer, Dominion Generation. "We are proud to be associated with Virginia Tech, one of the leading research universities in the country."
Dominion is now supporting project development spanning the carbon dioxide emissions management spectrum – separation, capture and sequestration. The company announced last month that it is hosting a large-scale coal gasification test facility and research center at its Brayton Point Power Station in Massachusetts. The test facility, owned by GreatPoint Energy of Cambridge, Mass., will produce pipeline-quality natural gas and a pure stream of CO2 as a byproduct of coal that could be captured for storage.
The company also is moving forward with energy conservation and renewable generation projects as part of its comprehensive strategy to ensure that Virginia has adequate supplies of reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity to meet the rapidly growing demand.
Dominion operates fossil fuel-fired power stations in Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The company has proposed a 585-megawatt power station in Southwest Virginia that will use circulating fluidized bed technology to burn coal, waste coal and waste wood to generate electricity. The U.S. Department of Energy recognizes the circulating fluidized bed process as an effective clean-coal technology; it mixes the fuel with limestone prior to burning it, resulting in fewer emissions of air pollutants than a conventional coal-fired power station.
The Wise County, Virginia, station will be built to allow the installation of equipment to capture carbon dioxide emissions when such a technology becomes commercially available. The company is also spending more than $3 billion on projects across its power station fleet to significantly reduce emissions of regulated pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury.
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. Dominion also owns and operates the nation's largest underground natural gas storage system with about 960 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 11 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at http://www.dom.com.