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Dominion's Greensville County Power Station Starts Operation

Dominion Energy D announced that its 1588 megawatt (“MW”) natural gas-fueled Greensville County Power Station has started commercial operation in Virginia. This new unit will be able to provide clean electricity to 400,000 homes and boost gas-based utility generation of the company to 9,177 MW.

Dominion completed this $1.3-billion clean power plant within estimated time and budget. Customers will save $2.1 billion during the expected lifetime of this plant, as the company will not require purchasing power from market sources.

This new power plant is part of Dominion’s initiative to lower carbon di-oxide emissions per MWh of electricity generated from its power plants. The company lowered its carbon di-oxide emission levels by 26% in 2016 from 2000 levels. The Greensville County Power Station, being among the cleanest electricity generation units in the United States, will further lower carbon emission from Dominion’s generation fleet.

Modernization of Energy Infrastructure

In addition to making its generation fleet cleaner, Dominion Energy is also working to upgrade and strengthen its existing electricity infrastructure. The company is doing so through the upgradation and addition of new electric transmission and distribution lines. The substations and other facilities are likely to meet the growing electricity demand within its service territory.

Dominion is also working on a project of strategic undergrounding of 4,000 miles of distribution lines. Notably, it has already completed undergrounding 1,000 miles. This initiative will lower the possibilities of outages and further increase resilience of the distribution system.

Strengthening of transmission and distribution channels will assist the company to distribute electricity among its rising customer base more efficiently.

Other Plans

Dominion Energy, in addition to focusing on clean energy generation as well as distribution lines, is taking into consideration the expected rise in natural gas demand and has started to build up natural gas distribution infrastructure.

The company is working to replace the aging infrastructure and expand the capacity of its existing natural gas pipelines. The construction of its Atlantic Coast Pipeline (48% ownership of Dominion) and Supply Header (100% ownership) is in full swing and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.

Price Movement

In the past six months, shares of the company have gained nearly 17.5% compared with its industry's rally of 11.8%.


Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Dominion currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks from the same industry are Ameren Corporation AEE, Eversource Energy ES and FirstEnergy Corporation FE, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Ameren, Eversource and FirstEnergy reported positive earnings surprise of 17.19%, 5.68% and 9.59%, respectively, in the last reported quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings of Ameren, Eversource and FirstEnergy has moved up 3.7%, 0.3% and 2.8%, respectively, in the past 60 days.

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