Dominion Plans 21 GW of Renewable Energy by 2035
- May 07, 2020
Dominion Energy Virginia has released its latest 15-year Integrated Resource Plan, which posts an increase of more than 300 percent in projected solar and wind generation development relative to last year’s IRP. The new plan reflects growth in energy storage installations by more than 700 percent. This robust increase is driven in part by the new executive order on climate change passed by Governor Ralph Northam and the Virginia Clean Economy Act passed by the General Assembly.
The utility provider has issued a request for proposals soliciting bids for up to 1,000 megawatts of solar and onshore wind generation and up to 250 megawatts of energy storage in the Commonwealth. Combined, the projected expansion of renewable energy sources and energy storage amounts to nearly 24,000 new megawatts over the next 15 years.
Renewable energy meets storage
Currently, Dominion’s IRP has 12 megawatts of offshore wind development in operation or under construction. Last year’s forecast posted 860 megawatts and this year’s IRP—which extends to 2035—amounts to 5,100 megawatts. The plan includes the 2,600-megawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, which is currently the largest of its kind in North America and is slated for commercial operation by late 2026.
Dominion Energy’s solar fleet, counting more than 40 facilities that amount to more than 1,500 megawatts of solar generation operational or under development in Virginia, posts a substantial projected increase of nearly 16,000 megawatts over the next 15 years. The IRP also includes energy storage expansion to 2.7 gigawatts and the first pilot projects are slated to come online 2021. The IRP plan also includes the re-licensure of the company’s four nuclear units, while natural gas-fired generation will also be part of its power mix for decades to come.
Moreover, the plan includes the adoption of energy efficiency improvements that would help Dominion meet the 5 percent energy sales reduction target by 2025, set by the VCEA. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Dominion’s residential rates are 11.62 cents per kilowatt-hour, nearly 10 percent below the 12.85 cents national average. The company’s pricing projections for residential rates are set to keep pace with historic levels of annual inflation, with a compound annual growth rate of about 3 percent over the next decade.