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Dominion Energy Virginia Quadruples Renewable Energy in Long-Term IRP

May 6, 2020
Diverse fuel mix provides reliability, affordability, and regional emissions reductions.

Dominion Energy Virginia has quadrupled the amount of solar and wind generation in its 15-year, long-term integrated resource plan (IRP) in one year. The increase is driven, in part, by Governor Ralph Northam's executive order on climate change and the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) passed by the General Assembly. 

The expansion of renewable energy development will give Virginians significant access to more renewable energy and create thousands of clean energy jobs. Dominion Energy Virginia recently issued a request for proposals soliciting bids for up to 1000 MW of solar and onshore wind generation, and up to 250 MW of energy storage in the Commonwealth. This is the largest solicitation in the company's history for renewable energy in a calendar year and will promote its efforts toward a clean energy future.

Projected expansion of offshore wind, solar, and energy storage development amounts to approximately 24,000 new megawatts of renewable energy and storage capacity over the next 15 years.

The long-term IRP includes:

  • More than 5000 MW of offshore wind is planned by 2035, including the 2600-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project announced by Dominion Energy. This offshore wind deployment — the largest in North America — has a targeted an in-service date of late 2026.
  • Dominion Energy's solar fleet is projected to grow significantly as the Dominion Energy Virginia long-term IRP calls for the development and procurement of approximately 16,000 MW in the state over the next 15 years.
  • Energy storage capacity is projected to expand to approximately 2700 MW, meeting the most ambitious targets in the country set in the VCEA. This includes battery storage pilots already approved and scheduled to be online in Virginia next year.

All IRP plans assume the relicensure of the company's four nuclear units to continue producing 24x7 zero-carbon emissions electricity. Additionally, based on limitations, such as existing battery storage technology and the variable nature of renewables, natural-gas fired generation will continue to play a critical, low emission role in the company's system for decades to come. Also included in this year's filing is a significant increase in energy efficiency programs to meet the 5% energy sales reduction target by 2025 set by the VCEA.

"We're focused on the health and safety of our employees and customers during this coronavirus pandemic and see these projects as a catalyst to restarting the economy when appropriate," said Robert M. Blue, president, Dominion Energy Virginia. "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."

Dominion Energy Virginia is making essential upgrades to the transmission infrastructure in Virginia and is embarking on strategic investments on the distribution system through its Grid Transformation Plan. These investments will ensure continued grid stability, the needed capacity, and improved resiliency, and will enable additional renewable resources to come online.

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