Dominion starts taking applications for solar program

Dominion (NYSE:D) is continuing its steps toward building its fledgling renewable program in Virginia and starts accepting online applications June 20 for the company’s solar purchase program.

The program is designed to help eligible customers offset the cost of adding solar power to their homes and properties while increasing solar generation in Virginia.

Participation in the program is first-come, first-serve. The pilot program is limited to a total of 3 MW.

Virginia has a voluntary renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 15% by 2025.

Participating customers purchase, install and own the solar generation system located on their property, but sell the electricity and the associated solar Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) back to Dominion at a premium rate of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. Participating customers purchase all of the electricity for their homes or businesses from the company on their current rate schedule.

The Solar Purchase Program is an alternative to Dominion’s net metering program in which customers offset their consumption with self-generated renewable energy using a variety of fuel sources. Currently, about 850 customers participate in the “net metering” program.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Dominion’s 3 MW solar program in March. Dominion has also looked at potential wind energy projects in Virginia and is moving toward converting certain coal-fired generation to biomass.

Dominion is pursuing three projects in Virginia on mountain ridges, including a previously announced project in Tazewell County, Va. Dominion is also evaluating two additional undisclosed sites in the state. “Dominion’s sites are in the early development stages and, accordingly, project size, timing and other details are not yet known,” according to the company website.

Dominion does have wind generation based in West Virginia, Indiana and Illinois.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at