Dominion Virginia Power Developing 400 MW Of New Solar Projects In Virginia

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A number of new utility-scale solar energy projects, altogether totaling 400 megawatts (MW) of new capacity, are currently under development by Dominion Virginia Power, according to recent reports.

All 400 MW of capacity will be constructed in Virginia, with utilization of local companies. It’s currently expected that the projects will all be online by the year 2020, which is not the fastest ramp-up, but it’s something.

Dominion Solar

Once finished, the solar energy projects will, by current estimates, generate enough power at peak capacity to meet the needs of ~100,000 area homes.

“Our commitment to solar energy is an important part of the immediate future of our state,” stated Thomas F Farrell II, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources. “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.”

“If we are going to build a new Virginia economy, we must be leaders in the energy economy of the future,” stated Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Dominion has shown a strong commitment to solar energy development, and I am proud to work with them to expand renewable generation in Virginia and diversify the Commonwealth’s fuel mix.”

Altogether, Dominion will reportedly be investing a pretty significant chunk of money into the projects — at least $700 million, apparently. The company is currently in the process of site selection — taking into account factors such as slope, terrain, grid connectivity, and environmental factors.

(Speaking of environmental issues in the area…. It’s worth noting here the recent disasters accompanying the use of fossil fuels in the area: the Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill on the North Carolina border; and the West Virginia Crude MCHM chemical spill.)

Delegate David E Yancey, R-Newport News, is sponsoring legislation during the 2015 Virginia General Assembly promoting utility-scale solar. He commented thusly: “I believe these solar projects that Dominion is planning will offer Virginia the most cost-effective path forward, while cultivating our local solar industry.”

These projects still have to be approved by the State Corporation Commission.

Dominion currently has 744 MW of solar energy generating capacity under development or in operation across 7 US states where it’s active.

Image Credit: Dominion

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James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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