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Dominion Unit Converts to Biomass

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In a move to generate more power from renewable sources, energy utility Dominion Resources Inc. (D - Free Report) announced that its subsidiary Dominion Virginia Power, has decided use biomass instead of coal in three of its power stations.

Dominion Virginia Power's decision to convert its three generating stations in Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County are likely to have a positive impact on the environment and also benefit consumers. The usage of biomass will lower the emission of green house gas and biomass will be a cheaper source of fuel compared to coal.

These plants will mainly use waste wood left from timbering operations as a source of fuel. If approved by the local authority and the regulators will begin production from the converted units in 2013.

These units can presently produce 63 megawatts (MW) power each and is only used when demand is at its peak. After conversion, these units will produce 50 MW each, and will remain operative 24x7.

Dominion Resources recently decided to improve and expand the infrastructure of  Virginia Power. The company will invest $1.7 billion over 2011–2012, which will focus on construction and expansion of electric generation facilities, environmental upgrades, construction improvements, expansion of electric transmission and distribution assets, and purchases of nuclear fuel.

Dominion Resources is constantly developing its renewable power portfolio and is in course to meet the Virginia and North Carolina legislation passed for renewable power.  The company is set to achieve Virginia's goals of 12% renewable power by 2022 and 15% by 2025 as well as North Carolina's Renewable Portfolio Standard of 12.5% by 2021.

We appreciate the decision of conversion as it will not only have a positive environmental impact but at the same time provide a financial boost to this region through job creation in forestry and trucking industries and power stations for the next 30 years.

Dominion Resources currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). We also maintain a Neutral rating on the stock. The company competes with American Electric Power Co. (AEP - Free Report) and Nisource Inc. (NI - Free Report) .

Based in Richmond, Virginia, Dominion Resources, together with its subsidiaries, engages in producing and transporting energy in the United States.

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