Dominion Energy issues 1GW renewables RFP, targets four-fold capacity increase by 2035

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Image: Dominion Energy.

Utility Dominion Energy has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for 1GW of onshore wind and solar as part of wider clean energy plans in the US state of Virginia.

Those requests also include proposals for up to 250MW of energy storage, while a 15-year plan filed by the utility’s Virginian subsidiary could see as much as 24GW of new renewables deployed, equivalent of a four-fold increase.

Dominion Energy Virginia recently filed its latest Integrated Resource Plan, establishing a series of targets in light of Virginia’s wider plan to be 100% renewable-powered by 2050. Within that plan is the intent to deploy 24GW of new offshore wind, solar and energy storage over the course of the next 15 years.

This includes growing the Dominion Energy Virginia solar fleet by 16,000MW over the next 15 years through development and procurement, as well as adding over 5,000MW of offshore wind by 2035. The latter figure includes the already-announced 2,600MW Coastal Virginia wind project, which is expected to be in service by late 2026.

Virginia joined six other states in enacting energy storage procurement targets for utilities as state Governor Ralph Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), which also brought Virginia into the multi-state New England and Mid-Atlantic US Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative (RGGI).

While the state’s target for energy storage procurement is 3.1GW, Dominion Energy Virginia said on Friday (1 May 2020) that it will be responsible for 2,700MW of that figure. The company embarked on its initial pilot battery energy storage projects, adding up to 16MW of output across four plants, after those pilot plans received approval in late February.

Dominion Energy Virginia president Robert M Blue said his company saw the announced clean energy projects as a “catalyst to restarting the economy when appropriate” in light of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“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,” Blue said, while the parent company is also targeting net zero emissions by 2050.

Dominion Energy Virginia said it expected its residential retail electricity rates, which are currently about 10% below national average, to keep pace with historic rates of inflation in rising about 3% per year. The utility also said its IRP is contingent on the continuing operation of its fleet of four nuclear power plants, while the plan also incorporates energy efficiency measures to meet the Virginia Clean Economy Act’s target of a 5% reduction in energy sales by 2025.

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