September 8, 2010

Surry coal plant delayed by 18 to 24 months

This news made my day! But maybe I should be cautiously optimistic?

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative announced today that it is delaying construction of what would be Virginia's largest coal plant by 18 to 24 months.

The $6 billion coal plant which ODEC hopes to build in the Surry County town of Dendron, is now on target to begin producing electricity in 2020, four years later than ODEC's original goal (announced nearly three years ago). I certainly pray that none of the 300 residents in this town try to sell their home soon. Or perhaps they should.

ODEC said that the delay is a result of uncertain federal regulations and the slumping economy, which has altered the nation's projected electricity demands. But I'm guessing that environmentalists' opposition and increased conservation had a tad to do with this delay. See what the Chesapeake Bay Foundation had to say about this delay.

The ODEC cooperative is a utility group with 11 power generating facilities in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. It provides power to a grid that serves about 51 million customers in the Northeast and Midwest. The proposed plant (sometimes called the Cypress Creek Power Plant), would provide electricity to about 375,000 homes and businesses. ODEC has already spent $30 million purchasing land, etc.

Meanwhile, the EPA still needs to call coal ash (fly ash) "hazardous waste" and deal with its disposal in a safe way.