Dominion entered a joint venture agreement with Shell WindEnergy Inc. in December 2006 to develop the first phase of a wind facility near Dominion’s Mt. Storm Power Station in Grant County, West Virginia, about 120 miles west of Washington, D.C.In July 2007, Dominion and Shell WindEnergy Inc. announced plans for the second phase of the project.
NedPower Mount Storm is now fully operational, generating up to 264 megawatts of electricity from a renewable energy source for the mid-Atlantic power grid.
The project consists of 132 wind turbines along 12 miles of the Allegheny Front, and can generate enough electricity to serve about 66,000 homes and businesses.
The electricity generated by the wind turbines flows across power lines from Mount Storm Power Station. Some of the electricity will also flow over a 500,000-volt transmission line that Dominion is building to increase the supply and reliability in Northern Virginia.
Electric demand in the region has grown by about 40 percent over the last decade and is projected to grow by another 8 percent by 2011.
Indiana Wind PowerProject
Dominion acquired a 50 percent interest in the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm from BP Alternative Energy Inc. in January 2008. The facility is in Benton County, Indiana, about 90 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
Commercial operation of Phase I began on April 15, 2009. The first 400 megawatts of the project will generate enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately 120,000 average homes. Of the 400-megawatt facility, BP and Dominion are partners on approximately 300 megawatts. The two companies could expand the facility to a total of 750 megawatts in the future.
Construction of Phase I began in the first quarter of 2008. Built by RMT, Inc., Phase I utilizes 222 wind turbines: 182 Vestas 1.65-megawatt turbines with a hub height of 262 feet and a rotor diameter of 269 feet, and 40 Clipper 2.5-megawatt turbines with a hub height of approximately 262 feet and a rotor diameter of 314 feet. A total of 850 workers were employed at the peak of construction. A full-time staff of 36 is employed to monitor and maintain the first phase of the facility. BP Wind Energy is operator.
Illinois Wind Power Project
Dominion announced in April 2008 that it plans to build a 300-megawatt wind generation facility in Central Illinois. The Prairie Fork Wind Farmwould be composed of 150 to 200 turbines constructed across approximately 25,000 acres in Christian and Montgomery counties, about 25 miles southeast of Springfield. The company’s 1,158-megawatt coal-fired Kincaid Power Station is located just north of the Prairie Fork site.
Construction of Prairie Fork is expected to begin in 2010, subject to necessary permits, approvals and other work. Commercial operation could follow in 2011.
Read More: Fossil-fueled Power Stations Ran by Dominion
Photo Credit: Chuck “Caveman” Coker via Flickr