Dominion plans 400 MW of solar in Virginia by 2020

Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power is planning to develop multiple large-scale solar projects in Virginia totaling 400 MW, with all projects to be built in Virginia with the involvement of Virginia-based companies and expected to be operational by 2020.

“Our commitment to solar energy is an important part of the immediate future of our state,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of parent Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), in a Feb. 5 statement. “We appreciate the governor’s efforts to promote renewable energy in our Commonwealth. Technology has evolved in such a way that we see a long-term benefit for our customers and will work to lead the way in solar generation.”

“If we are going to build a new Virginia economy, we must be leaders in the energy economy of the future,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “Dominion has shown a strong commitment to solar energy development, and I am proud to work with them to expand renewable generation in Virginia and diversify the Commonwealth’s fuel mix.”

Solar costs continue to decline, and the most cost-effective way to deploy solar is through large-scale projects. Dominion expects to invest $700m in these projects. The company said it is actively working to identify and select construction sites around Virginia through a site-selection process that includes evaluating the slope and terrain of land, as well as other electrical and environmental factors.

Delegate David E. Yancey, R-Newport News, supports expanding solar projects in Virginia and is sponsoring legislation during the 2015 Virginia General Assembly that promotes utility-scale solar. “I believe these solar projects that Dominion is planning will offer Virginia the most cost-effective path forward, while cultivating our local solar industry,” he said.

In January, Dominion announced that it had filed an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission to build Virginia’s first large-scale solar project, a 20-MW facility near its Remington Power Station in Fauquier County. Remington and these newly announced projects will require approval by the State Corporation Commission.

Dominion Resources’ 744 MW of solar capacity in development, under construction or in operation across seven states positions the company as one of the nation’s leading producers of solar among publicly-traded utility companies.

Dominion Resources is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,600 megawatts of generation, 12,400 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,455 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 949 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 12 states.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.