Bremo Power Plant demolished

By Heather Michon

When the Bremo Power Plant first came online in 1931, it was hailed as a piece of cutting-edge engineering. The coal-fired power station took years to build at a cost of millions of dollars and promised to bring the blessings of modern life to communities all along the James River.

Its work long since done, the building fell on Friday (Sept. 23) in under ten seconds.

The controlled implosion of the turbine building and its smokestacks took place as scheduled at around 10 a.m. after road and river traffic was halted in a two-mile radius around the plant. 

The removal of the turbine building is another big step in the planned clean-up and reclamation of the plant, which was shut down in 2018.

Crews have been working for almost a year to remove asbestos panels from the nearby administration building, double-bagging each piece before transport to an approved facility outside Fluvanna. By the end of this year, Dominion hopes to have removed all signs of the power plant and begin the process of turning it back into green space.

In the summer of 2021, the county signed off on a 224.5-acre landfill site where Dominion plans to place 6.2 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash, produced by the plant between 1931 and 2012, which has been held in covered holding ponds for years. Containing the coal ash in a lined and covered landfill will reduce the risk of contaminating the river or local groundwater.

The landfill project is expected to take close to a decade at a cost of $500 million.

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