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Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center aerial view

Located in St. Paul, Virginia, the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center is a technologically advanced power station that has been in operation since 2012. The Center can process and convert gob coal and biomass into as much as 610 megawatts of electricity.

The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center uses state-of-the-art circulating fluidized bed boilers and air quality control systems to achieve significantly lower emissions than traditional coal-fired power plants. In addition, the facility has a fully lined captive industrial landfill for storage of coal combustion byproducts. All contact water from the landfill collects in a leachate pond to be processed in an on-site wastewater treatment facility. These systems meet or exceed all the current requirements for coal combustion byproduct impoundments.

Quick Facts

Local Jobs

$8.5 million
Annual Average Tax Revenue
to Wise County and Town of St. Paul

$25 million
Annual Local
Economic Impact

Gob Coal Reclamation

During the past hundred years of mining, coal that was not suitable for smelting steel or generating electricity, using technology of that era, built up in waste piles. State agencies have declared this waste coal, also known as "gob", to be the greatest threat to the environment and watersheds of Southwestern Virginia. Gob piles can create a substantial sedimentation problem when they lack vegetation and are close to streams. Additionally, un-mined gob coal sites have been known to combust, emitting harmful toxins in the environment and sediment; locally referred to as ‘red dog’. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy conducted an inventory that identified 104 gob coal sites throughout southwest Virginia.

The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center was constructed to process gob and encourage beneficial reclamation of waste coal in the production of electricity.

As of July 2020, Dominion Energy has completed nine waste coal reclamation projects, including the removal of 500,000 tons of gob from Hurricane Creek. These projects have reclaimed a total of over 4 million tons of gob since Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center began operating in 2012.

Additional Information

Read Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center Fact Sheet

Circulating Fluidized Bed Technology

Advanced circulating fluidized bed (CBF) technology is proven clean-coal technology that also enables the use of run-of-mine coal, waste coal, and renewable energy sources such as wood waste. CFB technology combined with modern post-combustion controls has low emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and mercury. This technology is compatible with the need to be able to use a wide variety of fuels available in the region, and is compatible with the requirement to construct and operate a facility in an environmentally responsible manner that minimizes overall impact to air, water and land resources.

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