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Making Energy


How a Nuclear Power Plant Works

  1. Inside of a closed system, water is heated by uranium fuel and kept under pressure.
  2. The water is run through a steam generator.
  3. The water from the reactor remains in this closed system to be used over and over. The generator heats a separate loop of steam used to turn the turbine to make electricity. This steam, in a separate system, is not mixed with the generator's water.
  4. After the turbine makes electricity, the steam is condensed by cooling water from a nearby river or lake. The condensed steam is reheated and the process is repeated.

Learn more about our Nuclear power stations.

Natural Gas

How a Combustion Turbine Plant Works

  1. The combustion of natural gas forces turbine blades to spin.
  2. The spinning turbine is attached to a generator, which produces electricity.
  3. In a combined-cycle plant, exhaust heat is used to create steam. The steam turns an additional turbine and generator to produce more electricity.
  4. Steam is cooled in a condenser by water from a nearby river or lake. The condensed water returns to the plant and the cycle is repeated.

Learn more about our Natural Gas facilities.


How Solar Panels Work

  1. A solar panel is made up of photovoltaic cells. When photons from the sun hit the cells, electrons are released, which can be converted into electric power.
  2. Solar power enters the house as direct current (DC), the same current that batteries use. A power inverter is used to convert DC power to alternating current (AC), the current that powers your home’s lights, power outlets, etc.
  3. Once the power from the solar panel has been converted to AC, it is ready for normal use in your home. When a home uses power, it draws from the solar panel first and then pulls any needed additional electricity from the power grid.
  4. When your home uses less power than your solar panels produce, the excess power can be sold to Dominion Energy and added to the power grid. Some customers receive credits for the excess energy they generate.

Learn more about our Solar capabilities.


How a Coal-fired Plant Works

  1. Coal is ground into a fine powder and then burned in a boiler to produce steam.
  2. Steam spins the turbine, turning the generator and producing electricity.
  3. The steam is cooled in a condenser with water from a nearby river or lake. The cooled steam turns into water and is returned to the boiler to be used again.
  4. The cooling water returns to the lake or river. At larger plants, the water used to condense the steam goes through cooling towers before reentering a river to prevent any environmental problems that could occur from warming the river.
  5. Coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash, are safely disposed of according to EPA regulations. View CCR Rule Compliance Data and Information to see how Dominion Energy complies.

Learn more about our Coal and Oil-fueled power stations.


How a Hydroelectric Plant Works

  1. Water is held behind a dam, creating a reservoir.
  2. When water is released through the dam, it passes through a turbine generator and produces electricity.
  3. When energy demand is low, some of our plants pump water back into the reservoir to store the water for reuse when demand is high.

Learn more about our Hydroelectric power stations.

Powering Our Energy Future

We are investing in clean energy, including solar, natural gas and nuclear that will lower emissions while protecting reliability and customer rates.  Learn more about our Renewable Projects. 

Explore all of our Facilities and Projects.  

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