Dominion Resources' corporate roots go back to the Colonial Era. In 1787 the Virginia General Assembly established the Appomattox Trustees to promote navigation on the Appomattox River. The Assembly's Acts of 1787 (Chapter 53, Sections III and V) named seven original trustees, who organized the Upper Appomattox Company in 1795 to improve navigation and commercial development on the James River and its tributaries, including canal operation to secure water rights to the river.
The company took over several hydroelectric stations on the river and added a steam power facility in 1888. Frank Jay Gould bought a successor company in 1909 through his Virginia Railway and Power Company (VR&P). The firm purchased several electric streetcar lines and electric and gas utilities the following year.
VR&P was acquired by New York engineering firm Stone & Webster in 1925. Stone and Webster placed it under a new holding company, Engineers Public Service (EPS). VR&P's name was changed to Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO), and the firm bought several utilities in North Carolina. During the 1930s the automobile and the Depression put the company's trolley lines out of business.
In 1940 the government sued EPS under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. This in effect triggered an era of regulated utility monopolies. EPS was forced to divest itself of everything but VEPCO. However, VEPCO soon doubled its service territory by merging with the Virginia Public Service Company.
The number of electric customers increased by about half from 1950 to 1957, so the company added new stations to keep up with demand. It also built the world's first extra-high-voltage transmission system.
VEPCO's first nuclear stations went into service in the 1970s.
In 1980, company President William Berry became an early proponent of electric competition. The company redefined its corporate identity and image, and began using the names Virginia Power and North Carolina Power. Then in 1983 Berry formed Dominion Resources with Virginia Power as a subsidiary, then halted nearly all station construction to emphasize transmission. Two years later Dominion Capital was formed; Dominion Energy followed in 1987.
Thos. E. Capps took over as CEO in 1990, and Dominion sold its natural gas distribution operations. Dominion Energy formed joint ventures to develop natural gas reserves. The firm bought three natural gas companies in 1995, and the next year Dominion joined with Chesapeake Paper Products to build a cogeneration facility.
Dominion acquired UK power firm East Midlands Electricity in 1997 and sold it to PowerGen 18 months later. Also in 1998, Dominion bought an Illinois power station from Unicom's Commonwealth Edison.
The following year Dominion reorganized in preparation for energy deregulation by separating its generation activities from its transmission, distribution, and retail operations.
In 2000 Dominion bought Consolidated Natural Gas in a deal that transformed Dominion into one of the largest electric and gas utilities in the United States with more than 4 million customers. It agreed to sell Virginia Natural Gas (acquired in the Consolidated Natural Gas deal) to AGL Resources.
The company also agreed to pay $1.3 billion for Northeast Utilities' Millstone nuclear power complex, which includes two operating reactors and one that has been mothballed and is being decommissioned.
On August 28, 2000, the company began doing business solely under the name "Dominion." The decision to change the company's business name followed Dominion's merger with Consolidated Natural Gas Co. of Pittsburgh and an extensive branding analysis that showed significant benefits related to the use of the Dominion brand.
In Sept. 2000, Dominion's electric and natural gas companies began using new names for their delivery, transmission and customer service operations. Virginia Power does business as Dominion Virginia Power, and North Carolina Power does business as Dominion North Carolina Power. On the gas side, The East Ohio Gas Co. does business as Dominion East Ohio, The Peoples Natural Gas Co. as Dominion Peoples, and Hope Gas Inc. as Dominion Hope.
Dominion Energy, the company's electric power production and natural gas transportation and storage unit, includes two businesses: Dominion Generation and Dominion Transmission. Dominion Generation, based in Richmond, manages the company's regulated generating stations. Dominion Transmission, formerly CNG Transmission Corp., is based in Clarksburg, W.Va., and operates gas pipelines and North America's largest natural gas storage system. The company's unregulated generation is also part of Dominion Energy.
The former CNG Producing Co. changed its legal name to Dominion Exploration & Production. The Dominion E&P unit operated out of offices in Houston and New Orleans and became one of the top independent oil and gas producers in the country.
In September 2001, Dominion announced plans to acquire Louis Dreyfus Natural Gas Corp. for $2.3 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt. The acquisition increased Dominion's natural gas reserves by 60 percent and expanded its fast-growing energy trading business.
The former CNG Retail Services Corporation changed its name to Dominion Retail, Inc., and offers competitive pricing in the non-regulated energy market as well as a wide array of home warranties and other services for your everyday needs through its affiliate, Dominion Products and Services, Inc.
VPS Communications Inc., formerly part of Virginia Power, became Dominion Telecom. A Dominion affiliated company, Dominion Telecom was a facilities-based, interexchange carrier providing broadband solutions (private line, wavelengths, dark fiber, Internet and collocation) to wholesale customers throughout the eastern United States. The company was sold in early 2004 to Elantic Networks Inc.
During 2007, Dominion sold the majority of its natural gas and oil exploration and production properties as part of the company's strategic refocusing on its power generation and energy distribution, transmission, storage and retail businesses.
The company sold about 5.5 Tcfe for approximately $13.9 billion. Dominion retained its Appalachian E&P operations, which include approximately 1 Tcfe of proved reserves as of Dec. 31, 2006.
Today, Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation, 10,900 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 10 states.
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