October 26, 2018 Read More →

Virginia utility seeks 500MW of renewables, with more to come

Greentech Media:

Dominion Energy announced a solicitation for 500 megawatts of onshore wind and solar on Wednesday. The request for proposals stems from Virginia’s Grid Transformation & Security Act, which went into effect in July. In a plan tied to the law, Dominion will develop 3 gigawatts of clean energy by 2022. 

The RFP is the first of several expected announcements for large-scale renewable resources from the utility. Taken together, the 3 gigawatts of renewables positions Virginia as one of the top growth markets for utility-scale solar over the next five years, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

The RFP follows Dominion’s acquisition this summer of 240 megawatts of solar in Virginia from Urban Grid. The utility is also developing a 12-megawatt offshore wind demonstration. At the same time, Dominion’s 2018 integrated resource plan noted the “continued importance” of natural gas and included potential development of over 3.6 gigawatts of combustion turbine capacity by 2033. 

Prior to the bill’s passage, state regulators dismissed a Dominion pitch to offer 100 percent renewable energy plans to large electricity offtakers like commercial and industrial customers. Third-party power-purchase agreements are not fully legal in Virginia, but a 2017 ruling from the State Corporation Commission allowed Direct Energy to provide such plans until utilities in the state offer it. Because regulators shut down Dominion’s attempt to offer such plans, the door remains open for third parties to provide them.

Lining up renewables that could be funneled toward large corporates makes sense in a state with companies pressuring the utility to offer more clean power. Dominion said it has worked with Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon to provide them the clean energy they want to power operations. Currently 260 megawatts of Dominion’s total 656 megawatts of solar in operation or under construction supply Amazon property.

More: Dominion solicits for 500MW of renewables, positioning Virginia as a top growth market

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