YAPP in Fluvanna

The State Corporation Commission has given the go-ahead to Competitive Power Ventures to build Yet Another Power Plant in Fluvanna, WINA reports. The 520 megawatt gas-burning plant should be operational in 2005. Fluvanna broke ground on Tenaska’s 885 megawatt just a couple of weeks ago. This particular plant was approved by the Fluvanna Supervisors in June of 2001.

32 Responses to “YAPP in Fluvanna”

  • Personally, I think the Fluvanna council cares NOTHING for their own natural beauty and environment, or any one in the region!!!! (They wanted the State Corporation Commission to approve this.)

    You will see the first powerplant from Monticello (as will the tourists.) Welcome to our once beautiful country! Don’t mind the acid rain (when we get rain.)

    Although we live in Charlottesville, myself and several friends were at the first meetings debating this issue. MANY, MANY, MANY good citizens were there protesting the first plant (far more than supporters!) Yet, the cries of the people were ignored by the council. In fact, they just acted aggravated that the had to listen to people, old and young begging for this NOT to happen. “Power of the people?” I guess not!

    Now that this has happened AGAIN, I personally believe the old committee should be quickly removed before more irreversible harm is placed on our environment!! Who needs another terrorist target in the area anyway?

    Seriously though, these power companies don’t have our environment at heart, just money and legal hoops to get it.

    Thanks a LOT Fluvanna council!!! It’s a shame they can make decisions that effect all of us without even a chance of our control.

    The daily Progress also has an article about this at:

    — BTW, CvilleNews is a fantastic resource! Great job Waldo! :-)

  • Here’s a website I originally made for the “Citizens Against Power Plants” fighting the Fluvanna power plants. They are currently managing this site.


    BTW, Notice the sound fx when you enter the site. (Coughing from Black Sabbath..) Hehehe… ;-)

  • Members of the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors have personally sold land to the developers of power plants in Fluvanna and are personally profiting from their unpopular zoning decisions.

    These powerplants are being built by out of state contractors with imported labor. There will be no new jobs for Fluvanna residents created by the construction or operation of the plants.

    Local residents can expect their already dwindlling groundwater supply to disappear even faster as the new power plants devour water. Wells around Fluvanna are already going dry without the additional drain. The plants will be equipped to burn fossil fuel and the smokestacks will be visible throughout many areas of Fluvanna, Albemarle and Charlottesville.

    Within 7 years, depreciation on the no-longer-new power plants will put an end to significant tax benefits for the county.

    Local support for construction of the plants consisted chiefly of Tenaska attorneys and a handful of real estate investors looking to sell land to Tenaska. Opposition consisted of hundreds of vocal citizens.

    Tenaska flew members of the Board of Supervisors first class to their headquarters as part of a paid junket promoting power plant construction.

    Ultimately, the Board’s approval of construction appears to be the result of a conflict of interest. One would hope that the board will meet with the maximum legal penalties for their unethical conduct and bad faith representation of Fluvanna County’s public interest.

  • CvilleNews is a fantastic resource! Great job Waldo!

    No problemo. I can’t take much of the credit these days — I put a up a story and y’all provide all of the real information and insight. I’ve got it easy. :)

  • Let’s talk about WATER.

    In 1999 Virginia’s DEQ compiled a report on water use and withdrawals in the state. 83% of all water withdrawals in Virginia were used for POWER GENERATION; with the remainder split between agriculture, small business and residential use.

    So when you see that stupid commercial which lists the things that Virginia produces like hams, apples, jam, jelly and maple syrup, laugh out loud, get a little pissed off because the reality is that, with 30 more commercial power plants waiting for state approval, Virginia is on its way to becoming the single largest producer of electrical energy in the U.S.

    Think about it, 30 more COMMERICAL POWER PLANTS each consuming an average of 10 million gallons of water per day FOR FREE; that a combined total of 300 million gallons of precious H20 each and every day. The entire city of Charlottesville uses on average 8 to 9 million gallons each day and we are being told that is too much.

    And now get this. The residents are going to be rewarded for all their conservation efforts with a rate increase.

    What is going on here? Mark Warner needs to take a good hard look at this and put the brakes on and this stupid pursuit of industrialization before each and every resident, farmer and small business owner in this state is forced into oblivion.

    You can send him a message at http://www.governor.state.va.us/Contact/Contact.html.

    Make sure it is loud and clear.

  • You can’t compare usage of water by power plants and by other consumers so simply. First of all, depending on the type of plant, when power plants use water, it’s generally for cooling, steam production, etc., and the water is released back into the source unchanged aside from being warmer. By contrast, when other consumers use water, it’s either gone (evaporated, put into a product, etc.) or so contaminated after use that it requires extensive treatment and even then is only released downstream of the source. Power plants use water, but don’t use up water the way the city does, and none of the current water shortage has anything to do with power plants’ use of water.

    Second, the reason we will pay more for water is not because there isn’t enough water in the state. When you pay a water bill you’re paying for two things: treatment to make it safe for human consumption, and transportation to the community. Power plants consume neither of these resources, so your water bill isn’t a penny higher than it would be if there were no power plants here.

    Finally, don’t blame Mark Warner or big evil corporations for power plants. Power plants exist for two reasons and two reasons only: to provide power to private consumers, and to provide power to produce goods and services for private consumers. Every time you flip a light switch or use any product which takes energy to produce, YOU create the demand for new power plants. If you don’t want power plants, the only answer is to conserve and encourage conservation, and that’s all there is to it. Otherwise you’ll just turn us into another California or Germany, places where selfish and shortsighted consumers demand cheap power but want someone else to put up with the consequences of generating that power.

  • Obviously, the usage of water by various consumers varies. I’ve no doubt that the water used by the power plant is impacted different than the water used by UVA to keep grass green which is in turn different from the water used by me in my diabolical chemical experiments (j/k).

    But, the point remains somewhere in the middle that power plants have a sizable need for water. Even if they just heat it, I am sure that they put constraints on the way we can use it. We sure can’t divert their streams to other uses, can we? I’m not at all an expert on the subject, but given the amount of water needed, it is surely something to be cognizant of, right?

    I don’t have anywhere near enough knowledge to suggest an answer to your rebuttal of the idea that the power plants drive water prices up, except to suggest that anything that constrains usage, as surely power plants must, should, in the end, affect supply costs and so affect prices.

    Even if it is something as simple as the possibility that the heated water has a higher evaporation rate, lowering water levels and reducing supplies. Or, perhaps, the heated water is unusable for certain agricultural concerns, sending them to other water sources for water, driving demand up. Another idea – maybe the power plants are 100% efficient in the use of water? Sure, the vast majority is returned just warmed, but some – used in cleaning? who knows? – is ‘damaged’ at least as much as the water I might use to water my lawn is ‘damaged’?

    Finally, I think that you misunderstand the argument/problem people have with the power plant development. It isn’t entirely one of concern that not enough demand exists. It seems to me that a lot of the argument is concern that the power plant owners and developers are free-riding on Virginia natural resources. If we are a leading producer of electricity, presumably we have made it a major export. The argument would then be that the benefit to the state is outweighed by the costs to the state, while the benefit to the owner outweighs the costs to the owner.

  • Interesting to note the dramatic drop in electric utility stock prices the last few days, since Allegheny Power went bankrupt. Perhaps this will brake the mad rush to follow California to energy oblivion.

  • I would have less of a problem with all of this if it were for *Virginia* consumption. But it’s not. Enough said. So conserving at home is great, and we should all do it. Maybe it will help out Idaho someday.

  • Where do you propose we build these power plants? They have to be somewhere?

    Hey, I have a better solution. We’ll reduce our power needs by cutting off the electricity of people who don’t want new power plants, that way everyone gets what they want. I get electricity, and you get no new powerplants!

    Just more cases of Not In My Backyard (but your’s would be fine) – gimme a break.

    Also – who really give a sh** about the view from Monticello? Do they somehow claim ownership to their view? Is someone NOT going to visit Monticello simply because the view has changed some?

    If Monitcello is SO dependant on the view for business, then they should pay royalities to all property owners that own property that Monticello is using as "their" view. It’s only fair.

    People need to start being a little more realistic and a lot less whiney.

  • And you don’t find it a shame that it’s a constant up-hill struggle to keep our community a nice place? We aren’t the ones who will be using the power. If Texas has increased power needs then they should have the power coming from their own damn state. Same for all the rest of the states including ours. It’s not whining. I’ll go put my septic tank in your backyard and see how you feel.

  • I was just using Texas as an example btw. Love that state.

  • Hey, let’s put in a 10,000 acre windmill farm in Fluvanna, instead. It won’t use any water, and the birds that the mills kill will easily go unnoticed.

    Perhaps if we paint them green they will look like trees swaying in the wind from Monticello.

    Point is – I hear tons of criticism, but, as usual, no suggested alternatives.

    So, I ask again – where DO you propose new power plants be built? It’s 100% UNREALISTIC to take the position that we can simply conserve more and not need any new generation capacity.

    Certainly, conservation is beneficial for all, and directly to you in the form of lower utility bills.

    However, we still NEED more plants, and the gas plants are a decent, albeit not perfect compromise between the environment, cost, and safety.

    Do you want a Nuke plant in Fluvanna? Or, do you just want all the power plants "somewhere else" and you’ll just use electricity. Is it OK to polute someone else’s county?

    Back to the windmill famr example. Sure, it doesn’t pollute, but it’s huge, unreliable (only works when there is wind), kills birds (yes, they do. California’s farms found that out) and "pollutes" the scenery even more than a gas plant with it’s sheer size.

    So, I am anxious to here REALISTIC suggestions.

  • And Virginia is 100% self sufficient in everything it consumes? Yeah, right.

  • And, yes you can put your septic in my backyard for a fee. Let me know if you’re interested.

  • Do you have some documentation showing that Virginia is 100% self sufficient in everything it consumes? If not, then your argument is an irrational and emotional response to a very broad issue.

    In case you havn’t heard, we’re all AMERICANS here, and Virginia is part of the USA. People in California and Texas having no electricity causes ripples thoughout our entire economy, as business in these states suffer loses due to brownouts, and pass these cost on to THEIR customers. And, I am pretty sure that Virginia does a lot of business with businesses in other states.

    So, are you selfish or do you just not have the big picture?

    I don’t jump up and down and say "Oh boy! Another new power plant." Not by any means. But they have to be SOMEWEHRE, and if done in a manner that will minimize impact, then it’s a necessary evil.

    Turn off your lights in protest if you feel so strongly about it.

  • You don’t want to see how many oil lamps I have. ;) You’re absolutely right that I should research this before I open my mouth, but don’t we all have that problem here? In any case, I’m a fan of solar power and fuel cells and will be constructing my home (god how I wait for the day) with those involved. I’m absolutely ready to put my money where my mouth is. I didn’t mean to sound nasty or completely uneducated. :)

  • I just might take you up on that. ;)

  • Hey Bruce:

    You’re right, power plants will return a protion of the water they use. In Tenaska’s case it is about 1 million gallson per day. That’s 1 million gallons per day of TREATED (with mild acids such as HCL to remove Algee) AND HEATED water out of 10 million gallons per day. The other 9 million gallosn is vapor.

    In response to your second paragraph, the point I was trying to make is most of these power generation corp. are commercial operations. They are using a deminishing natural resouce aka water FOR FREE in order to MANUFACTURE AND SELL electrical energy on the open markt. Also in the case of Tenaska, a corporation called East Coast Transport was started by Tenaska and given public utility status with the power of emminent domain (the right to condem property) in order to supply the power plants in Fluvanna and Buckingham with James River water.

    In response to your 3rd paragraph, don’t hand me that @###@# about what am I going to do when the power goes off. The fact is Bruce:

    Virginia does not have a power shortage

    Virginia does have a water shortage

    With 83% of all the water drawn in Virginia used for power generation and only 8 or 9% going for individual and agricultural consumption we have a problem here and it is only going to get worse when 30 more commercial power plants come on line in the next 5 years.

    I am not blaming Mark Warner but I do believe that it is time for him to realize that unless he does something Virginia will become the largest exporter of electrical energy and the largest importer of trash.


  • So, I ask again – where DO you propose new power plants be built?

    In the county and/or state in which they are needed. Virginia is quickly becoming vastly over-powered. Given the amount of pollution that’s created by most power-generation systems today, this is obviously not desirable. If Okalahoma is low on power, I suggest that they convince Tenaska to build a plant there. In order to encourage this, I suggest that Virginia not provide business licenses for more power plants for as long as they are not needed here.

  • With all the "where should they go, anyway?" questions going around, I thought I’d check with the state DEQ to see how many plants we have in the state. They have a whole section devoted to power plants. Guess what? They don’t tell you. They only tell about upcoming projects and how to get a permit. Does anyone know where I can get a figure on how many power plants are actually in the state since DEQ is so unhelpful? I thought I’d compare the output to what’s actually used in Virginia to settle a couple of arguments.

  • We absolutely can blame Mark Warner. As governor, he inherits responsibility for state legislation.

    California ran into a big problem because it legislated heavily against new power plants. As a consequence of their legislation, few new ones were built. The deregulation (another legislative decision) put them in a terrible position: they couldn’t produce the power they needed and were forced to purchase (import) it at great cost. They’re a great lesson.

    If Virginia is getting a zillion new power plants, then legislation in Virginia is making it an attractive place for power plants to locate. Mark Warner is absolutely responsible for noting this and deciding to do something about it (propose better, more balanced legislation) or let the costs rack up to the state at some later date in the myriad ways it will inevitably create. One of the unfortunate side effects of the single-term governorship is that the governor responsible for a decision is rarely still the governor when the consequences of the decision become adverse.

    I can and do expect that elected officials take up the responsibility for decisions they’ve inherited. It is absolutely part of their job to do so.

  • You guys dont get it, we’re just the new New Jersey. You can’t have a gazillion people living 100 miles north of here and expect them to build a power plant on land that costs $10,000 a square foot.

    Maybe if you complain enough someone will annex your house and build one there.

  • I asked the PEC of Va how many power plants we have and what our use was. Here’s the response. "Currently there are 32 power plants (June 2002) in operation producing over

    21,500 megawatts of generation. The State is facing over 30 new

    facillities (proposed, permitted or under construction) repesenting an

    additional 22,000 megawatts of generation. At peak demand this Summer,

    Virginia needed 19,000 megawatts."

    We’re definitely *not* building more plants to deal with our horrible consumption problem. This is strictly for export. We already produce more than we use as it is.

  • Sure, I’d love to have solar cells on my roof, but the cost is simply too high and that makes the pay off too far out, especially in this county there homes are priced sky-high already (another issue entirely.)

    The fact is that other sources of power are being developed and explored, and eventually they will become commonplace. Until then, we will unfourtunately need some more generation capacity.

    I don’t see any way around it.

  • Cool – my grass needs all the help it can get to grow!

  • The plants are going to be built. Period.

    So we can either capitalize on them and hopefully create some jobs and some tax revenue, or someone else will do it.

    Pretendting that power plants aren’t needed and conservation alone can prevent shortage is irresponsible.

  • OK, so Virignia should become self-sufficient in everything that it needs? We can’t possibly expect other states to take up THEIR land to provide goods and services to Virignia, can we?

    So, to avoid being a complete hypocrite, I propose that you and others who share in this view stop buying anything that is not made in Virginia, because it’s just not fair that some factory in someone else’s backyard in another state is building things for you.

    Since your PC is most certainly not 100% made in Virginia, I guess we won’t see you post again, will we? Lord knows all the fumes produced with mass soldering operations, and the poor people that live near these facilities!

    This amounts to a "what’s in it for me" attitude, and it’s selfish and childish.

  • Yes, demand is growing (especially nationally). Yes, conservation, especially local Virginia conservation, won’t do too much to answer the problem.

    But why must the private citizens of Virginia pay a portion of the urban electricity costs?

    Look at it this way… The complaints are not because the market is fairly supplying power. The complaints are occuring because power plants create externalities.

    In essence, Virginians, by suffering the lost splendor, natural resources, whatever people are complaining about, are paying a portion of the power costs of whoever Tenaska and henchmen sell power to.

    Perhaps if we taxed power plants at the level of impact to the state, they’d go where the can create the most surplus. Instead, now they are heading where regulatory hurdles are lowest. The two should align – high regulatory hurdles should be forcing private power companies to consider the costs that their power factories will necessarily impose on their new neighbors.

  • I am not necessarily saying that I want the power plants out, I am just saying that the proponents of the power plant seem to be ignoring the real claim that supports all of the tendentious opposition to power plants.

    Which is, hey power plants, stop free-riding, you cheap bastards. Hey government employees, get your hand out of the til! Somebody make this decision fairly!

  • Does anyone know if the pipeline to draw water out of the river has been approved? I don’t know if this is a seperate issue or if the existing permits have taken care of it.

  • That was corruptly approved and planned for a long long time ago. People have had their land easement forced upon them to get this line through to the two proposed plants and to other areas of the county. Tenaska remember is not in the business of keepingf and operating water/waste facilities….. there’s a trail to follow.

Comments are currently closed.