State-owned buildings and facilities in Virginia will soon be powered with solar and wind energy under a new agreement between the Commonwealth and Dominion Energy.
The agreement represents the largest procurement of renewable energy by a state to meet its own renewable energy needs, a significant step in accepting Governor Ralph Northam’s challenge to power state government with clean energy sources.
Under the partnership, Dominion Energy will supply the Commonwealth with 420 megawatts of renewable energy. When combined with previously announced solar projects, the power produced is enough to meet the equivalent of 45 percent of the state government’s annual energy use.
The clean energy package consists of a 75-megawatt wind project and four proposed solar projects totaling 345 megawatts slated to come online in stages over the next three years, pending local approvals. The projects will be dedicated to the Commonwealth of Virginia and will have no impact on customer rates.
- Rocky Forge Wind is under development by Apex Clean Energy in Botetourt County and will be the first onshore wind project in Virginia.
- Belcher Solar, owned by Dominion Energy, in Louisa County was developed by a joint venture among Virginia Solar LLC and MAP Energy LLC and will provide 88 megawatts at peak output.
- Bedford Solar in the City of Chesapeake is under development by Lincoln Clean Energy and will provide 70 megawatts at peak output.
- Walnut Solar in King and Queen County is under development by Open Road Renewables and will provide at least 90 megawatts at peak output.
- A fourth solar project (to be named) will provide the remaining generation.
Dominion Energy says that it intends to be one of the most sustainable companies in the United States, as detailed in its most recent Sustainability Report. Progress toward that goal includes announcing the nation’s largest offshore wind project, the largest renewable natural gas partnership in the country with Smithfield Foods, and the largest electric school bus initiative in America.
Dominion Energy has committed to reducing power generating facility carbon emissions 55 percent from 2005 levels and reducing gas asset methane emissions 50 percent from 2010 levels.
“My administration is committed to combating climate change and advancing the clean energy economy,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “It has been a historic month for renewable energy in the Commonwealth – with this landmark contract, we are continuing to lead by example in cutting emissions, investing in clean energy, and ensuring a healthy world for future generations.”
“We share Governor Northam’s goal for a cleaner energy future here in Virginia. Working to achieve this goal is the right thing to do for our customers, for communities we serve, for employees and for our business,” said Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell, II. “Partnerships like this one are vital to reducing carbon emissions, and we’re proud to be able to work with the Commonwealth to provide clean energy for its operations across Virginia.”
Image: The Virginia Capitol Building: By Varmin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,