Dominion Solar, Wind Projects Will Power Virginia Government Buildings

Dominion Energy has entered a partnership with the commonwealth of Virginia in which government-owned buildings and facilities in the state will get power from Dominion’s solar and wind energy projects.

The agreement, signed by Dominion and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Oct. 18, is the largest procurement of renewable energy to date by the state as part of Northam’s plan to power the whole of state government with clean energy.

The deal includes a 75-MW wind project—the first onshore wind farm in Virginia—along with four proposed solar farms with total generation capacity of 345 MW. The projects are expected to come online in stages over the next three years, if all are approved.

The governor’s office said the new generation, along with previously announced solar projects, should produce enough power to support as much as 45% of the state government’s annual energy use. The agreement comes after Northam in September announced that state government agencies would lead the commonwealth’s push for renewables.

“My administration is committed to combating climate change and advancing the clean energy economy,” Northam said in a statement. “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.”

Dominion has said the projects are dedicated to state government and will not impact customer rates.

Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion Energy’s chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement: “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. 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.”

The solar projects include:

  • Belcher Solar, owned by Dominion Energy, is sited in Louisa County. The 88-MW project is being developed in a joint venture that includes Virginia Solar LLC and MAP Energy LLC.
  • Bedford Solar, sited in Chesapeake, is a 70-MW project being developed by Lincoln Clean Energy.
  • Walnut Solar, a 90-MW project, is being developed by Open Road Renewables in King and Queen County.
  • A fourth, unnamed solar project, expected to provide about 97 MW of generation, is also included in the partnership.

The Rocky Forge Wind project is being developed by Apex Clean Energy. It is sited in Botecourt County.

Dominion Energy has committed to reducing power generating facility carbon emissions 55% by 2030 from 2005 levels. The utility also has committed to having 3 GW of wind and solar power either operating or under development by 2022.

The Solar Energy Industries Association said Virginia at present ranks 18th in the U.S. for solar generation capacity.

Darrell Proctor is a POWER associate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).