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In order to serve you better, please select your Dominion Energy location services.

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What is Biomass Fuel?

According to the EIA, biomass fuel is material that comes from plants and animals. When the biomass fuel is burned, energy is released in the form of heat. Some examples of fuel are wood, crops, garbage, and animal manure. Since new plants can be grown, biomass is a source of renewable energy.

In Virginia, biomass fuel comes from waste wood left behind as part of the logging process for roundwood.

Converting to Biomass Energy

Our coal-fired power stations were converted to generate 100% renewable biomass energy. The stations are the Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton power stations located in Virginia. They produce enough electricity from biomass fuels to power roughly 38,000 homes.

The conversion projects were selected to address customers’ growing need for reliable electricity while also proving savings to the customer.

Also, we own and operate the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, which can utilize up to 20% biomass for fuel.

Biomass Facilities

Altavista Power Station

Altavista biomass power station

Hopewell Power Station

Hopewell biomass power station

Southampton Power Station

Southampton Biomass station
  • All biomass stations have 51-megawatts fueled by renewable Biomass Energy.
  • Original coal operations began in 1992 and were converted to biomass in July 2013 as part of a commitment to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
  • Each station employs about 30 people. Another 100 forestry and trucking jobs are created locally to supply the roughly 600,000 tons of biomass used yearly.
  • Ash produced at the Altavista station is provided to local farmers who use it to improve the soil for their crops.

Helping the Environment & Customers

By generating biomass energy, extra renewable energy certificates can be used for customer benefit. The conversions further reduce emissions and meet EPA’s existing or proposed regulations.

The conversions promote job growth within Virginia by creating roughly 300 jobs for logging, chipping and hauling of the biomass fuel to the three facilities.

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