Dominion Energy Virginia is moving forward on clean energy projects, from sources such as solar and wind, to meet its commitment of 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy in operation or under development by 2022.
The company has taken several steps in the three months since announcing the goal, including:
- Surveying non-residential customers about their renewable energy needs
- Seeking bids for up to 500 megawatts of solar and onshore wind
- Requesting approval for 240 megawatts of solar generation in Virginia
- Receiving approval for a Community Solar Pilot for residential, commercial, and industrial customers
- Continuing plans to build two six-megawatt wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach
- Engaging with a broad array of stakeholders on future solar development
- Planning a Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to 50 megawatts of smaller scale solar projects in 2019
At the beginning of 2015, Dominion’s solar portfolio totaled just over 1 megawatt. At the time, the company set a goal of 400 megawatts under development in Virginia by 2020. It now has 824 megawatts in operation or under development in Virginia.
The Virginia expansion will add to the parent company’s solar fleet, which is the fourth largest in the nation. Dominion Energy currently has more than 3,300 megawatts of renewable energy resources either operational or under development across 10 states.
The company’s solar fleet in Virginia will nearly quadruple in size under the company’s commitment of 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy in operation or under development by 2022. A recent RFP for up to 500 megawatt of solar and onshore wind is the first of an anticipated annual procurement process each fall for larger scale projects of at least 5-megawatts. An initial RFP for smaller scale solar is planned for spring 2019 seeking 50 megawatts of projects, with the expectation that by 2022 the annual RFP will be issued in January for up to 150 megawatts.
The company is also creating partnerships with large customers to meet their sustainability goals, exploring the potential of brownfield solar sites, such as closed landfills and abandoned mines, and transforming the energy grid to improve its ability to connect to renewable energy sources.
New Wind Energy Project Gets Approval
The State Corporation Commission recently ruled in favor of plans to build two six-megawatt wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach. The $300 million project will be funded through existing base rates, as enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018 (GTSA). Contingent on various regulatory approvals, onshore construction would start in 2019, followed by turbine installation and operation in 2020.
Dominion Energy has reduced its carbon intensity by more than 40% since 2000. The recent enactment of the GTSA allows for further improvement. In addition to helping modernize the energy grid to expand the use of renewables, it also calls for a battery storage pilot and increases in energy efficiency programs over the next 10 years.
The company remains focused on keeping energy affordable while investing in renewables and innovative technology. The GTSA mandates a $130 million investment in EnergyShare over the next decade, providing weatherization and bill assistance to elderly, low-income, veterans and customers with disabilities. It also provided a $125 million cut to customer base rates due to federal tax reform and a $133 million bill credit this past July. In January, customers will see another $67 million bill credit due to the law. The GTSA also creates a reinvestment model to help the company continue delivering great value to our customers.
The law also required Dominion Energy to submit a report to the General Assembly on solar energy on Nov. 1. It can be found here: http://www.dominionenergy.com/next.