Dominion Virginia Power to invest $700 million in large-scale solar projects
Dominion Virginia Power said Thursday that it is planning to develop multiple large-scale solar projects totaling 400 megawatts of electricity. All projects will be built in Virginia with the involvement of Virginia-based companies and are expected to be operational by 2020. Together, the solar facilities are anticipated to be capable of generating enough electricity at peak capacity to power 100,000 homes.
“Our commitment to solar energy is an important part of the immediate future of our state,” Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion Resources, said in a statement. “We appreciate the governor’s efforts to promote renewable energy in our commonwealth. Technology has evolved in such a way that we see a long-term benefit for our customers and will work to lead the way in solar generation.”
According to Dominion, solar costs continue to decline, and the most cost-effective way to deploy solar is through large-scale projects. Dominion expects to invest $700 million in the projects. The company said it is working to identify and select construction sites through a site-selection process that includes evaluating the slope and terrain of land, as well as other electrical and environmental factors.
Delegate David E. Yancey, R-Newport News, supports expanding solar projects in Virginia and is sponsoring legislation during the 2015 Virginia General Assembly that promotes utility-scale solar. “I believe these solar projects that Dominion is planning will offer Virginia the most cost-effective path forward, while cultivating our local solar industry,” he said.
Last month, Dominion announced that it had filed an application with the State Corp. Commission (SCC) to build Virginia’s first large-scale solar project, a 20-megawatt project near its Remington Power Station in Fauquier County. Remington and the newly announced projects will require approval by the SCC.
Currently, Dominion has 744 megawatts of solar generating capacity in development, under construction or in operation across seven states. It says the investment positions the company as one of the nation’s leading producers of solar among publicly-traded utility companies, according to today's data from SNL Financial.