Dominion Energy, headquartered in Richmond, Va., is at the forefront of sustainability. Already the third biggest solar portfolio in the country, Dominion has been a catalyst for the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). The policy outlines the plan for Virginia to get to zero carbon emissions by the year 2050 and is considered the most consequential energy policy reform since the 2007 Regulation Act.
Months after the enactment of the policy, Dominion proposed nine new solar projects that would bring nearly 500 megawatts of solar energy to Virginia customers. Considered the “largest slate yet of new solar projects,” the proposal was submitted for approval by the State Corporation Commission and falls in line with the VCEA.
The VCEA provides numerous environmental benefits to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The carbon free subtotal is projected to be 57% by 2030 and 73% by 2035. For offshore wind, it will be up to 100% utility-owned and 5.2 Gigawatts (GW) by 2034. Solar or Onshore Wind will be 16.1 GW by 2035 and 65% utility-owned, while energy storage will be 2.7 GW by 2035 with one project up to 800 Megawatts (MW).
Major provisions of the policy include:
- Statutory renewable portfolio standard
- State participation in a regional carbon trading program (RGGI)
- The end of carbon-emitting electric generating units
- Substantial net metering expansion
- Energy efficiency standard (5% energy savings by 2025 vs. 2019 baseline)
The region’s economy will benefit greatly from Dominion’s proposals. The three utility-owned solar projects alone are projected to deliver more than $100 million in direct and indirect economic benefits. In total, it will support about 750 jobs. Plus, its industrial rates have stayed well below the national average for the past 12 years, making the Richmond Region a stable business location.
With Dominion leading the charge, Greater Richmond will continue the trend of low industrial rates and a sustainable future.