SARAH VOGELSONG - MARCH 17, 2022
The proposed site of the Chickahominy Power Station in Charles City County. (Sarah Vogelsong/Virginia Mercury)
A second natural gas plant planned for Charles City County has been canceled, with the developers citing “opposition from outside interests and regulations” that “made it impossible to deliver natural gas to the site.”
Specifically, the developers blamed “the renewable energy industry and state legislators that supported them” for the cancellation.
Chickahominy Power, LLC posted the announcement that it is terminating its plans to build a 1,600 megawatt natural gas plant southeast of Richmond on Thursday after six years of trying to bring the project to fruition.
“We are relocating our development effort to West Virginia and/or Ohio where we have started the process of site selection and air permitting,” the statement reads. In February, an affiliated company known as Chickahominy Pipeline, LLC canceled plans to build a gas pipeline across five counties to carry gas from a Transco line to the planned power plant.
That cancellation was spurred by a decision by the regional electric grid manager to terminate Chickahominy Power’s interconnection agreement because it said the company “has demonstrated no diligence or meaningful progress on the Chickahominy Project since entering the queue in October 2016.”
Another natural gas plant known as C4GT that different developers planned to build in Charles City County just a mile from the Chickahominy Power site was canceled this July.
Both plants would have operated as “merchant generators,” selling electricity into the grid as a business venture, and would not have been providing power directly to Virginia customers. Both also struggled to obtain sufficient financing over the course of their development.
Natural gas infrastructure has become increasingly hard to develop in Virginia as the state transitions away from fossil fuels toward renewables. Under the 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act, the power sector is required to decarbonize by 2050.