Dominion Energy Virginia proposed its largest slate yet of new solar projects as the company moves forward to provide customers with more clean energy. The nine solar facilities would bring nearly 500 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy to customers, enough to power around 125,000 homes at peak output. The proposal comes just months after enactment of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) and builds on what is already the third-largest solar portfolio among utility holding companies in the United States.
Six of the nine new solar projects totaling 416 of the 498 megawatts of energy at peak output are power purchase agreements selected following a competitive solicitation process. This collaborative approach with solar developers contributes to building a clean energy economy in the Commonwealth and helps fulfill the VCEA requirement to have approximately a third of new solar and onshore wind through 2035 be procured through power purchase agreements.
The three utility-owned solar projects are expected to provide over $100 million in direct and indirect economic benefits in Virginia and will support approximately 750 jobs:
• Grassfield Solar in the City of Chesapeake was acquired from Solar Access Development Group, LLC and Blue Green Energy, LLC and would provide 20 MW at peak output.
• Norge Solar in James City County was acquired from Clearway Energy Group and would provide 20 MW at peak output.
• Sycamore Solar in Pittsylvania County was acquired from a joint venture between Open Road Renewables, LLC and MAP Energy, LLC and would provide 42 MW at peak output.
Each of the facilities is under development and subject to approval by the State Corporation Commission before construction begins.
The filing includes Dominion Energy’s RPS Development Plan detailing a strategy for RPS compliance through 2035 and achievement of certain VCEA targets for solar/onshore wind and energy storage development in the same timeframe. The filing also provides projections of long-term cost, together with ways expenses can be reduced, including savings in fuel as traditional energy generation is displaced by renewable energy.
On October 9, Dominion Energy Virginia issued a new RFP soliciting bids for small-scale solar projects up to 3 MW in size. Another RFP for large-scale solar, onshore wind and energy storage projects is currently underway and a request for information (RFI) to purchase or lease land suitable for large-scale solar development was released in August. These initiatives will help inform the Company’s future renewable energy filings and help meet renewable energy goals.
— Solar Builder magazine