Dominion Virginia's Mt. Storm Chiller Docket

Sierra Club
Project completed.

Synapse provided expert witness support for Sierra Club in the Dominion Virginia’s Rider E cost recovery docket for 2023. Our testimony and analysis focused on Dominion’s request to recover the costs to install a temporary Chiller System at the Mt. Storm coal-fired power plant and to begin to install a permanent Chiller System at the plant. We evaluated the costs the company incurred for the temporary system, the projected costs to install the entire permanent system, the timeline of the company’s compliance and decision-making processes, and the information the company had on the forward-going economics of the plant at the time it made the decision to move forward with the temporary Chiller system. 

We found that the company delayed action in complying with its wastewater discharge permit, despite knowing for over a decade that it was in violation of its permit, and spent so long pursing alternative compliance mechanisms, that it was unable to bring online a permanent system by the compliance date. As a result, Dominion Virginia spent ratepayer money installing a temporary system that it will use to comply while it constructs the permanent system.

We recommended that the Commission disallow the temporary system costs on the basis that the company had acted imprudently in delaying compliance, and the temporary chiller costs were avoidable if the company had acted sooner to install the permanent Chiller System.