Virginia to power state-owned buildings with renewables

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
: By Varmin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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