Dominion accepts Maryland's Cove Point conditions

Regulators required $48 million payment and set other rules

June 09, 2014|By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun

Energy company Dominion said Monday that it formally accepted Maryland regulators' conditions for their approval of a power plant the company needs to export liquefied natural gas from its Southern Maryland complex.

Maryland's Public Service Commission said Dominion could build the 130-megawatt generating facility only if the company contributed $48 million toward funds set up for clean energy efforts, energy efficiency and low-income utility bill assistance. Regulators said the project otherwise would provide no net economic benefit to Marylanders.

The PSC imposed nearly 180 conditions in its May 30 order, including ones related to safety and environmental health. But opponents of the project, who sent thousands of letters urging the PSC to disallow the generating station, contended that the required payment and other conditions were insufficient to offset the impact of the expansion.

Dominion's complex, called Cove Point, is a natural-gas import terminal. The company — with support from local officials — wants to revamp the site to allow for exporting. It is seeking federal approval for the project, but it needed the state's OK for a plant to power the compression process that turns natural gas into a superchilled liquid.

"We appreciate the thoroughness with which the PSC considered our application and its order," Dominion said in a statement Monday.

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