Dominion CEO: $419m of transmission assets placed in service through end of 3Q17

Dominion Energy (NYSE:D) has a number of electric transmission projects at various stages of regulatory approval and construction, and through the end of 3Q17, $419m of assets have been placed into service, Thomas Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and CEO, said on Oct. 30.

“We plan to invest $800m in our electric transmission business this year and every year thereafter for at least the next decade,” he said during the company’s 3Q17 earnings call.

A company spokesperson told TransmissionHub after the call on Oct. 30 that the transmission projects that were energized this past quarter are:

  • Line #553 (Cunningham-Elmont) Rebuild Phase 1 – Richmond area
  • Eastern STATCOM – Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Colington-R/P Static Var Compensator – Nags Head, N.C.
  • Hathaway Sub 230-115-kV Transformer and 230-kV Ring Bus – Rocky Mount, N.C.
  • Farmville to Chase City Network 115-kV Lines
  • Nansemond River Rebuild
  • Fredericksburg to Four Rivers 115-kV Line Rebuild

During the call, Farrell also noted that the company has a number of solar power projects under development and continues to see demand for renewables from its customers.

“Year-to-date, six solar facilities totaling approximately 169 MW have achieved commercial operation,” he said. “For all remaining 2017 projects, panel deliveries have been secured, and the projects are on schedule for completion this quarter. In total, we have announced 457 MW that will go into service this year, and expect to add another 200 MW by the end of next year, increasing our gross operating portfolio from 1,660 MW to over 1,800 MW, of which 700 MW will be in Virginia and North Carolina.”

He noted that earlier this month, Dominion announced that it will add solar generation to serve a new data center that Facebook plans to build in central Virginia. Pending Virginia State Corporation Commission approval, that need would be met with a new rate option that would allow large energy users to meet their needs through the addition of renewable energy resources, he said.

Farrell also noted that the company is evaluating the potential for a pumped storage project in Virginia, and that a preliminary permit application has been filed with FERC, identifying a potential project site in the state.

“We have also contracted with Virginia Tech to study the feasibility of using an abandoned coal mine in Wise County to construct a pumped storage facility,” he said. “The General Assembly has enacted legislation stating [that] the construction of one or more new pumped storage electric generating facilities in southwest Virginia is in the public interest, with cost recoverable through a rate rider.”

Among other things, he noted that in July, Dominion announced that it had signed an agreement with Ørsted, formerly DONG Energy of Denmark, to build two turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach. The two companies are now refining agreements for engineering, procurement, and construction, he said, adding that Dominion will remain the sole owner of the project, which is targeted for completion in 2020.

“We plan to seek rider recovery for the project during the first half of next year,” he said.

Earnings report

Dominion on Oct. 30 announced unaudited reported earnings determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (reported earnings) for the three months ended Sept. 30, of $665m, or $1.03 per share, compared with earnings of $690m, or $1.10 per share, for the same period in 2016. 

Operating earnings for the three months ended Sept. 30, were $672m, or $1.04 per share, compared to operating earnings of $716m, or $1.14 per share for the same period in 2016, the company said, adding that operating earnings are defined as reported earnings adjusted for certain items.      

The principal difference between reported earnings and operating earnings for the quarter was related to transition and integration costs associated with the Dominion Energy Questar combination, the company noted.

In the statement, Farrell noted that on Oct. 13, FERC issued an order of certificate and public convenience and necessity for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the associated Supply Header project. 

As noted on the company’s website, the proposed 600-mile underground ACP is an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline that would serve multiple public utilities and their growing energy needs in Virginia and North Carolina. Atlantic, a company formed by Dominion, Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas, would develop, build, and operate the ACP, according to the site.

Farrell also said: "The Cove Point Liquefaction construction is effectively complete and the facility is going through its advanced-commissioning phase. The work continues on-time and on-budget and we expect to be in-service by the end of the year.”

Among other things, he said that Dominion’s 1,588-MW Greensville County combined cycle power station is about 60% complete, and is expected to begin commercial operations in late 2018.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3059 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.