The Virginia State Corporation Commission on May 26 ordered an Oct. 13 public hearing at its offices on a May 4 application from Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power for approval and a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to construct and operate a 20-MW (ac) solar facility near the town of Remington in Fauquier County, Virginia.
Dominion Virginia Power, a unit of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), proposes to build the Remington Solar Facility on 125 acres of land owned by the company, located across from the company’s existing natural gas-fired Remington Power Station. As proposed, the Remington Solar Facility would include ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar panel arrays, and would interconnect using 34.5 kilovolt distribution-level facilities.
If approved, Dominion Virginia Power expects the project to begin commercial operation on or about Oct. 1, 2017.
Dominion Virginia Power plans to build and operate the project as part of a “public-private partnership.” The company states that the electrical output of the Remington Solar Facility would be dedicated solely to the Commonwealth of Virginia, a non-jurisdictional customer of the company, and that the Commonwealth has agreed to purchase this electrical output at a negotiated price for a term of 25 years. Additionally, under a separate agreement, Microsoft Corp. has agreed to purchase all of the environmental attributes generated by the project, including the renewable energy credits, at a negotiated price for a period of 25 years.
Dominion Virginia Power estimates the cost of the proposed Project to be approximately $46 million, excluding financing costs, or approximately $2,300/kilowatt at the approximately 20-MW (ac) rating. Dominion Virginia Power states that it is not seeking to recover the cost of the project from its Virginia jurisdictional customers through either a rate adjustment clause or base rates. The company states that there will be no impacts to its Virginia jurisdictional cost of service, base rates, fuel rates, or rate adjustment clauses as a result of the company’s ownership and operation of the project during the 25-year term of the agreements with the Commonwealth and Microsoft.
In the May 26 order, the commission found that: Dominion Virginia Power should provide public notice of its application; a public hearing should be scheduled; a procedural schedule should be established to allow interested persons an opportunity to file comments on the application or to participate in this proceeding as a respondent; and the commission staff should be directed to investigate the application and file testimony and exhibits containing its findings and recommendations. Further, the commission found that a Hearing Examiner should be assigned to conduct all further proceedings in this matter on behalf of the commission.