Dominion Power Keeping North Anna Unit 3 Option Alive

Dominion Virginia Power has informed state regulators that it intends to continue spending on plans to build a third reactor at the North Anna Power Station, 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Va. That spending makes sense for Virginia customers, the company said.

North Anna NPPThe company also said in a state regulatory filing that it planned to slow down spending on the North Anna Unit 3 project while the federal Clean Power Plan was facing legal challenges.

The company also said for that same reason – uncertainty over federal carbon emissions rules – it was important to keep the North Anna Unit 3 option open, despite the hefty price tag, which has been estimated at $19 billion.

“As we are transiting into a low carbon future, North Anna will be an option that is very valuable to us at some point in the future,” the Associated Press quoted Bob Thomas, director of energy market analysis for the company, as saying.

Despite opposition from environmentalists and the currently headwinds in the energy market for new nuclear power projects, Dominion said it will have spent more than a half billion dollars – $647 million – on planning activities for North Anna 3 by the end of 2017.

Spending on the North Anna Unit 3 project has already become a bone of contention in Virginia. A bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2014 allowed Dominion to write off more than $300 million that had been spent on North Anna Unit 3 development. That write off allowed the company to avoid paying $188 million in refunds to customers, the state's attorney general's office has said.

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