Dominion Energy Virginia has quadrupled the amount of solar and wind generation in its 15-year, long-term integrated resource plan (IRP). The increase is driven, in part, by Governor Ralph Northam’s executive order on climate change and the Virginia Clean Economy Act passed by the General Assembly.
Dominion Energy Virginia issued a request for proposals on May 1 soliciting bids for up to 1,000 MW of solar and onshore wind generation and up to 250 MW of energy storage in the Commonwealth. This is the largest solicitation in the Company’s history for renewable energy in a calendar year and will promote its efforts toward a clean energy future.
Projected expansion of offshore wind, solar, and energy storage development amounts to approximately 24 new gigawatts of renewable energy and storage capacity over the next 15 years.
The long-term IRP includes:
- More than 5,000 MW of offshore wind is planned by 2035, including the 2,600-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project already announced by Dominion Energy. This offshore wind deployment — the largest in North America — has a targeted in-service date of late 2026.
- Dominion Energy’s solar fleet is projected to grow significantly as the Dominion Energy Virginia long-term IRP calls for the development and procurement of approximately 16 GW in the state over the next 15 years.
- Energy storage capacity is projected to expand to approximately 2,700 MW, meeting the most ambitious targets in the country set in the VCEA. This includes battery storage pilots already approved and scheduled to be online in Virginia next year.
“We’re focused on the health and safety of our employees and customers during this coronavirus pandemic and see these projects as a catalyst to restarting the economy when appropriate,” said Robert M. Blue, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “We are putting Virginians to work on renewable energy projects that will create thousands of jobs, transforming the environment and the economy of the Commonwealth.”
All IRP plans assume the relicensure of the company’s four nuclear units to continue producing 24/7 zero-carbon emissions electricity. Additionally, based on limitations, such as existing battery storage technology and the variable nature of renewables, natural-gas fired generation will continue to play a critical, low-emission role in the system for decades to come. Also included in this year’s filing is a significant increase in energy efficiency programs to meet the 5% energy sales reduction target by 2025 set by the VCEA.
The company is making essential upgrades to the transmission infrastructure in Virginia and is embarking on strategic investments on the distribution system through its Grid Transformation Plan. These investments will ensure continued grid stability, needed capacity, and improved resiliency, and will enable additional renewable resources to come online.
Dominion Energy Virginia’s residential rates are 11.62 cents per kilowatt-hour — nearly 10% below the national average of 12.85, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The rate is also the lowest of all states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which Virginia will join under the Virginia Clean Economy Act and companion legislation. The company is projecting that residential rates will keep pace with historic levels of annual inflation, with a compound annual growth rate of around 3% over the next 10 years.
Dominion Energy recently announced a new companywide goal of achieving net zero emissions, covering both carbon dioxide and methane in its power generation and natural gas operations across 20 states by 2050. This IRP and RFP align with Dominion Energy’s net zero by 2050 commitment.
Bidders seeking more information on the competitive bidding process and the RFP submittal documents should visit: www.dominionenergy.com/2020SolarWindRFP. Customers and developers interested in learning more about Dominion Energy’s renewable energy expansion plans may email: 2020SolarWindRFP@dominionenergy.com.
News item from Dominion Energy