By - Jim Vess

Dominion Energy calls for 500 MW of onshore wind and solar projects in Virginia

Energize Weekly, October 31, 2018

Dominion Energy issued a request for bids on Oct. 24 for 500 megawatts (MW) of solar and onshore wind generation as part of a plan to develop 3,000 MW of renewable resources in Virginia.

Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Energy pledged to develop the wind and solar resources, enough to power 750,000 homes, under state’s new Grid Transformation & Security Act (GTSA).

The GTSA, which was backed by Dominion Energy, removed a 2015 rate freeze and returned oversight of investor-owned utilities to the Virginia State Corporation Commission. It included $219 million in credits to Virginia customers for overpayments. It was signed into law July 1, 2018.

The law also allowed utilities to deduct money spent on eligible grid and renewable energy projects from overearnings for the purpose of setting rates and customer refunds.

The first call for wind and solar projects, which can be either power purchase agreements or purchase of development projects of at least 5 MW, covered only 20 percent of Dominion Energy’s goal. The projects have to be located in Virginia and in commercial operation by 2020.

“To meet this long-term commitment, the company intends to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) each year, similar in timing and content to the solicitation released today, until the pledge has been met,” the company said in a statement.

The 3,000 MW of wind and solar are part of the $816.3 million Grid Transformation Plan filed by Dominion Energy with the Virginia State Corporation Commission on July 24. The plan is the proposed first phase of a 10-year project to improve grid reliability, resiliency and security, as well as to integrate rooftop solar and other distributed generation and energy storage.

The plan projects installing 1.4 million “smart meters” between 2019 and 2021. An additional 600,000 smart meters would be installed by 2023.

The plan also aims to enhance cybersecurity. “The Company is well aware of its duty to reliably serve its 2.6 million customers in the face of increasing threats of physical or cyber assaults on its assets,” the company’s filing said.

Dominion Energy has 6 million electricity or natural gas customers in 19 states. The company said it intends to reduce its carbon intensity 50 percent by 2030.

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