Peaking Unit Projects
$25.9 million economic benefit for the Dan River and Chesterfield Regions
We're committed to a clean energy future that includes more renewables and 55 percent lower carbon emissions by 2030. We operate the fourth largest solar generation fleet in the U.S., and are building the first offshore wind project in federal waters. Our goal is to produce 3,0000 megawatts of solar and wind energy by 2022. That's enough to power 750,000 homes.
We support the statewide clean energy goals outlined in an executive order signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in September 2019. To help Virginia achieve a significantly lower carbon footprint and maintain reliable, cost-effective energy for all customers, we must have a diverse generation mix. The peaking units, powered by natural gas, will be an important part of this mix and will play a critical role in enabling the use of more renewables.
Energy to power 375,000 homes
Peaking Turbine Technology
Peaking units often only operate during certain times of a day or a few days a season. They can go from idle to producing power within 10 minutes, and offer reliable, around-the-clock service.
Peaking units support the growth of newer, sometimes intermittent, sources of energy because they can launch into operation quickly, allowing us to meet customer needs.
The peaking units being proposed at Berry Hill and James River Industrial Park would be similar to those at Ladysmith Power Station.
We plan to build four natural gas-fired combustion turbines in Chesterfield County, Virginia.
Q & A
What is peaking power and why is it needed?
A peaking unit provides power to the grid to supplement the power supply during peak-load periods. Peaking units typically feature combustion turbines, diesel generators or pumped storage. Peaking units may only be in service certain times during a day and possibly in operation only a few days during a season.
What percentage of the time do peaking units run?
Peaking units are called upon when there is insufficient generation from baseload units during peak-load periods. These periods could be daily loads or seasonal loads. Peaking units typically run 5-20 percent of the time.
If Dominion Energy is launching a battery storage pilot and proposing a pumped hydroelectric facility, then why are the peaking units needed?
Energy storage is critical to ensure a balanced and reliable energy grid as we expand our renewable energy portfolio. Battery storage, which does not produce electricity but stores it for later use, can ramp up to full power within seconds, but can supply that energy for a short duration, as compared to peaking units. Typically for grid applications, energy batteries are sized up to four hours. Peaking units, for example, can provide more energy over a longer period of time. We need a diverse mix of generating resources in order to meet customer needs at the lowest reasonable cost while maintaining reliability and flexibility.
Is the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) approval required for this project?
Yes. Dominion Energy cannot proceed with the project unless the SCC agrees the project is needed and the cost is prudent.