Dominion installs solar array at Philip Morris USA facility in Virginia

Philip Morris USA is the latest company to partner with Dominion Virginia Power under the Solar Partnership Program by hosting what will become the largest solar installation in Virginia to date.

Dominion said March 18 that it is currently installing about 8,000 ground-mounted solar panels at the PM USA Park 500 facility on Bermuda Hundred Road in Chesterfield County, Va. When completed, the 2,450 kW solar array will generate enough electricity under optimum conditions to power 500 homes.

“At Dominion, we are constantly looking for the best way to produce energy safely, efficiently and in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Ken Barker, vice president of Technical Solutions. “This initiative is another step toward fulfilling Dominion’s commitment to substantially increase our solar generation portfolio in the Commonwealth. In Philip Morris, we are fortunate to have a partner that shares our commitment to clean, sustainable energy.”

“PM USA understands the effect that nature may have on our business, which is why we continue our efforts to reduce environmental impacts at our manufacturing facilities,” said Greg Ray, PM USA senior vice president for smokeable manufacturing. “We are proud to host this solar project at our Park 500 plant, as it is adjacent to our award-winning on-site water treatment plant installed in 2008.”

Dominion Virginia Power already has completed solar installations at the Canon Industrial Resource Technologies facility in Gloucester, Va., Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and Virginia Union University and Capital One in Richmond, Va. These facilities and others under construction represent a total of 4.8 MW of solar generating capacity.

The PM USA solar project is part of Dominion Virginia Power’s Solar Partnership Program in which Dominion leases rooftop or ground space at commercial, industrial or public facilities for the installation of solar panels. Dominion is authorized to construct and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities.

Standard Solar Inc. – a leader in the full-service development, construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric systems – has been selected as the engineering, procurement and construction company. Most of the work will be performed by local sub-contractors.

In other solar initiatives, Dominion recently announced 400 MW of large-scale solar to be produced in Virginia by 2020. Pending Virginia State Corporation Commission approval, the first facility will be built in Fauquier County, Va., and will generate up to 20 MW. Parent Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) now has 744 MW of solar generating capacity in development, under construction, or in operation across seven states.

Philip Morris USA is part of Altria Group, which owns three premier tobacco operating companies.

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.