Steamy story: Fossil fuel plants near U

According to the Piedmont Environmental Council, in Virginia alone there are 33 new or proposed power plants representing 21,721 megawatts of proposed generation, enough to handle over 30 percent of the nation's expected growth in power demand by the year 2004.

And while a company called Entergy has abandoned its plans to fire up a power plant in Louisa, four other plants could be headed for the perimeter of Albemarle County, thanks to the deregulation of the power industry. While natural gas is the fuel of choice, most proposed plants have asked the state for the option to use fuel oil (a much dirtier form of combustion), although the State Corporation takes a dim view of that.

PERMITTED OLD DOMINION ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE 570 megawatts

Headed for farmland on the Albemarle County line in the Northeast corner of Louisa County.

PERMITTED TENASKA 885 megawatts

Ground broken September 21 in the woods of Fluvanna about seven miles west of Palmyra.

PROPOSED COMPETITIVE POWER VENTURES, INC. 530 megawatts

Proposed for the Cunningham Creek area in Fluvanna near Lake Monticello and the Albemarle border. Already approved by the Board of Supervisors, the SCC gave its nod to the project in early October, and ground-breaking is set for sometime this spring.

PROPOSED TENASKA, INC. 990 megawatts

Proposed for the New Canton area of Buckingham County by the James River, but the company has yet to make a formal application.