June 21, 2017 â€“ Dominion Energy is re-opening two coal-fired power plants in Virginia, in order to be prepared to meet power needs during peak hours this summer. The plants were shut down to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standards rule (which the Supreme Court later ruled was improperly issued). However, PJM Interconnections, a company that manages the electrical grid in many eastern states, including Virginia, requested the plants be allowed to temporarily remain open in order to provide reliable power to residents. The Department of Energy (DOE) approved their request.
PJMâ€™s spokesperson told a local paper, Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, that Dominion Energy would operate the coal-fired power plants on an emergency basis to prevent rolling black-outs, and added that this move is â€śrequired to avoid power disruption that could disturb military bases, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure in the area.â€ť
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) said, â€śIt is critically important to maintain the reliability of the power grid. The threats of rolling brown-outs, and even black-outs, have been a concern of mine for some time. As Iâ€™ve said before, if we shut down power plants before we have an adequate substitute, the obvious result will be families, schools, businesses, and hospitals lacking power. By re-opening these plants, thankfully, Virginians will be in a position to avoid power shortages during the hottest months of summer. Iâ€™m glad DOE made the logical decision.â€ť