Dominion Energy is investing $1 billion to install 500 megawatts of solar in Virginia by 2020. Nearly 398 of the 500 megawatts of solar are now complete or under development. Most are utility-scale solar facilities for large business, like those slated to power Amazon’s data centers and smaller commercial installations for government buildings and schools throughout the state. Of the 398 megawatts installed or under development, 80 percent of the costs are financed by large business and government entities at no cost to current Dominion customers.
"Our company has made a major commitment to develop significant blocks of solar generation to meet customers' energy needs going forward," said Paul Koonce, CEO of Dominion Energy. "Our goal is to have a balanced generating portfolio that is highly reliable, cost effective and environmentally responsible. The cost of energy powered by the sun is coming down and we are working hard to develop projects in new and economical ways for our customers."
Under the leadership of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) administration, Virginia has made huge moves to expand its renewable energy portfolio. Amazon Web Services partnered with Dominion and Community Solar Energy to develop the state’s two largest solar farms providing 180 megawatts of solar to power its data centers. McAuliffe’s administration also announced the development 1.1 megawatts of solar at schools across Virginia when he updated his energy plan last October. All these moves contributed to Virginia ranking among the top 20 solar states in the US in 2016 and in the top three for clean energy purchasing options by the Corporate Energy Procurement Index.
"We are well ahead of schedule on the solar expansion and what we have added so far will have a very minimal impact on the price of electricity for the 2.5 million regulated customers we serve in Virginia," Koonce said.
Virginia’s commitment to expanding solar was included in Senate Bill 1349, which was passed by the General Assembly in 2015. The bill essentially froze Dominion’s base rates to create price stability for customers while the utility complied with federal air quality regulations that limit power station greenhouse emissions.Tweet