August 30, 2018 Read More →

Dominion executive: U.S. business wants renewables, not coal

Charleston Gazette-Mail:

West Virginia needs to be open to economic change, particularly when it comes to renewable energy, an energy company official said at a business gathering Wednesday that touted a “comeback” of coal and the state’s economy at-large.

Bob Orndorff, Dominion Energy’s state policy director, said at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual business summit at The Greenbrier resort that the state needs to be mindful of wind and solar power’s increasing appeal to companies looking to invest in new places.

“For years, coal was the base of everything we did,” Orndorff said in a panel discussion on energy’s future in the state. “It still is, and it still has a role, but we need to talk about wind. We need to talk about solar, because the Procter & Gambles of the world want that.”

West Virginia “needs to make a quantum leap” when it comes to inexpensive and renewable electricity options and should be willing to adapt, Orndorff added. “If we are to recruit companies to work in West Virginia, to invest in West Virginia, we need to meet their needs,” he said.

Appalachian Power President Chris Beam, who participated in the same panel Orndorff did, said the electric company is still open to renewable energy power sources after the state Public Service Commission denied its bid to acquire a wind farm in Greenbrier County. However, any renewable energy source must “be economical for customers,” he added.

More: Energy official points to renewables at business summit highlighting coal ‘comeback’

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