Mount Storm Power Station

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Mount Storm Generating Station
Mount Storm Power Plant, Aerial.jpg
Aerial view of the Mount Storm Generating Station and its artificial lake
Country United States
Location Grant County, near Bismarck, West Virginia
Coordinates 39°12′03″N 79°15′46″W / 39.20083°N 79.26278°W / 39.20083; -79.26278Coordinates: 39°12′03″N 79°15′46″W / 39.20083°N 79.26278°W / 39.20083; -79.26278
Status Operational
Commission date Unit 1: September, 1965
Unit 2: June, 1966
Unit 3: December, 1973
Owner(s) Dominion
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal Synfuel
Type Steam turbine
Cooling source Mount Storm Lake
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 1,600 MWe
Mount Storm Power Station from the boat ramp over looking the lake.

The Mount Storm Generating Station, located on the west bank of Mount Storm Lake 2 miles (3 km) from Bismarck, West Virginia, is a coal-fired power station owned by Dominion Resources. It is the largest power plant that Dominion operates.[1] The facility's three units use around 15,000[citation needed] tons of coal to generate more than 1,600[citation needed] megawatts of electricity from the coal synfuel for around 2 million people in Northern Virginia.


Mount Storm Power Station was engineered and built by Stone & Webster, an American engineering service company from Massachusetts. They built Mount Storm's first coal plant unit in September 1965, the second unit soon after in June 1966, and the third unit in December 1973. During the first few decades that the station existed, the hazard of fly ash was a big problem for the employees of Mount Storm Power Station as well as for the people living in the surrounding communities. These people were constantly exposed to the asbestos not even knowing of its existence. It was not till the 1970s where rules were passed to regulate the exposure of these toxicants. Due to the lack of regulation, people who worked in the power station prior to 1980 have been diagnosed with "asbestos-related illnesses, including asbestosis and the much more deadly mesothelioma."[2] Since then Mount Storm Power Station has kept up with all government regulations and now catches most all of the toxicants produced by burning the coal before it can harm the employees or the surrounding community.

Mount Storm has limestone scrubbers in the burners which removes up to 95% of the sulfur dioxide emitted by the station.[citation needed] Dominion states that Mount Storm Power Station exceeds the regulations set by the West Virginia regulators.[citation needed]

Mount Storm Lake[edit]

Mount Storm Lake.

Mount Storm Lake is a reservoir created for Mount Storm Power Station along the Stony River. This lake is 1,200 acres and is used as a cooling pond for the power station. The power station sucks up approximately 234,000 gallons of water from the lake per minute to cool down the turbines. This results in the entire lake being sucked up and recycled in just 2.5 days. Due to this cooling process, Mount Storm Lake is warm all year around. "Even when winter temperatures are below freezing, the water temperature in the lake seldom drops below 60 degrees F. This makes the lake an attractive year-round destination for scuba divers, boaters and fishermen."[3] However, some people are resistant to participate in these water activities due to the proximity to the coal-fired station.

Due to the year round cooling process,the warm water has an effect on the environment called Thermal Pollution. Thermal pollution is defined as "a rise in the temperature of rivers and lakes that is injurious to water-dwelling life, and is caused by the disposal of heated industrial waste water."[4] One effect of thermal pollution is that it reduces the levels of Dissolved Oxygen in the water. The dissolved oxygen reduces the amount of oxygen in the water that plants and animals need to survive. Warm water also provokes the spread of algae in the water which can also reduce levels of oxygen. Another effect that thermal pollution has on the environment is it increases the metabolic rate of organisms. "Increasing enzyme activity occurs that causes organisms to consume more food than what is normally required... It disrupts the stability of the food chain and (can) alter the balance of species composition."[5]

Dominion Resources maintains restrictions on activities permitted for visitors to the lake.[3]

Wind Farm[edit]

Two of Mount Storm's Windmill's along the Allegheny Front.

Mount Storm also includes Ned power Mount Storm, LLC which is a nearby wind farm with 132 wind turbines, of which Dominion owns half of them. These wind turbines are placed along 12 miles of the Allegheny Front. The wind farm began construction in 2006 and is now currently fully operational. The wind generates up to 264MW of electricity which is enough to power 66,000 homes.[6]

Generating units[1]
Unit Generating Capacity (MWe) Commissioned Boiler Manufacturer Generator Manufacturer Engineer and Builder
1 563 September 1965 Combustion Engineering Westinghouse Electric Stone & Webster
2 563 June 1966
3 567 December 1973 Asea Brown Boveri

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mount Storm Power Station Archived 2010-05-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Mount Storm Power Station - Lee W. Davis". Law Offices of Lee W. Davis, Esquire, P.L.L.C. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  3. ^ a b "Mount Storm Power Station". Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  4. ^ "the definition of thermal pollution". Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  5. ^ Rinkesh (2014-06-06). "Causes and Effects of Thermal Pollution - Conserve Energy Future". Conserve Energy Future. Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  6. ^ "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-14.