Dominion to mothball Bremo power station

Dominion to mothball Bremo power station

By Heather Michon


Dominion Energy announced Wednesday (Jan. 17) that it will be closing nine units at five of its power generating stations across Virginia, including both units at Fluvanna’s Bremo Power Station.

The decision to shutter the units came at the end of a month-long review the company said will streamline operations and increase efficiency.

“When we look at the time, the materials, the people, when we look at the thermal inefficiency of these plants and we look at the advancement of renewables, we just think this is a progressive step we can take to ensure that our fleet remains competitive,” Paul Koonce, president of Dominion Generation Group, said in a statement released by Dominion.  

Bremo Power Station went into service in 1931. Two units were shuttered in 1972. Units 3 and 4, built in the late 1950s, received a $53.4 million conversion from coal to natural gas back in 2014.

Despite the overhaul, the company’s assessment found “in this new market, smaller, older, less efficient units such as Bremo 3 and 4 cannot compete,” said Dominion spokesperson Dan Genest in an email.

The station will not be demolished. Instead, Dominion will put it in “cold reserve.” Oil and other fluids will be drained and the plant will be turned off. It can be called into back into service if needed later.

What impact the shutdown will have on the 45 employees at the Bremo plant is not yet clear. Once in cold storage, the facility will not require staff.

Genest said not all employees would be laid off: “I know that some of them will be transferred to Bear Garden Power Station, just across the James River in Buckingham County.” Others will be eligible to apply for other positions within Dominion.

Dominion will continue to pay property taxes to Fluvanna County after the shutdown. Genest said the company paid the county $795,000 in property taxes in 2017.

The Fluvanna County treasurer’s office referred questions to the commissioner of revenue’s office. The commissioner’s office referred questions to the treasurer’s office.

Genest also said the closure would not impact the closure and cleanup of Bremo’s ash ponds, left over from its decades as a coal-powered plant.

The switch to cold reserve status is scheduled for April 1.

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