Dominion Virginia Power has converted its Altavista, Va., power station to biomass waste-to-energy production.

The conversion of the Altavista Power Station from coal fuel is the first of three that the Richmond, Va.-based utility plans by the end of this year, Dominion said in a news release. The company expects to spend $165 million for the conversions in Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County.

The facilities will use as fuel primarily tree tops and branches that remain unused from timbering operations.

After conversion Dominion expects the three 51-megawatt power stations to operate continuously and provide enough electricity for 12,500 households.

The Altavista station will employ 31.

The biomass conversions will help Dominion meet Virginia’s voluntary renewable energy goal of 15 percent by 2025.