Gas turbine generator stops traffic in Front Royal
The Warren Sentinel
FRONT ROYAL – Traffic was backed up for a short time on U.S 522/340 at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 as a 507,000-pound gas turbine generator was moved from the Virginia Inland Port to the site of the Dominion Power Plant, which is under construction in the 522 Corridor.
Slated to open in late 2014, the $1.1 billion power plant will supply power to about 325,000 homes, mostly in Northern Virginia, as well as a number of electric cooperatives, some of which supply power to homes in the Shenandoah Valley.
The gas turbine generator is one of the electricity-generating components of the power station. It was moved on a transporter called a Goldhofer, which is about 80 feet long, 10 feet wide, and has the capacity to transport 1.2 million pounds. It is owned by Bigge Crane and Rigging of San Leandro, Calif.
Dominion spokesman Dan Genest said the company has been in the process of moving large pieces of equipment from the inland port, where they are delivered by rail, to the site of the power plant.
“The moves usually take place around 9:30 a.m. And they're done at that time to avoid rush hour and school buses. We have to get a VDOT permit for each move and we have to get a police escort for each move,” Genest said.
Traffic must be stopped in both directions for the 500-yard move, which takes approximately two-and-a-half minutes, Genest said.
On Feb. 13, a 328,000-pound steam turbine transformer was moved from the inland port to the power plant construction site.
The power plant produces electricity from steam and natural gas. The electricity comes out at a certain voltage, which must be increased to be sent through transmission lines, Genest said. The transformers increase the voltage.
There are 25 more scheduled moves between now and early summer.
About 600 people are currently working on the Dominion Power construction site, Genest said. The plant is about 15 percent complete.
Warren County stands to collect about $1 million in taxes from the new power plant in fiscal year 2013-2014.