On Thursday, October 1, 2015, Dominion Virginia Power (“Dominion”), Virginia’s largest utility, announced its proposal to build three large-scale solar facilities with a combined capacity of 56 MW in three Virginia counties: (i) 17 MW to be built on 165 acres in Powhatan County, (ii) 20 MW to be built on 250 acres in Louise County and (iii) 19 MW to be built on 200 acres in Isle of Wight County. The trio of projects were the result of a competitive Request for Proposals (“RFP”) issued by Dominion in July.
Dominion plans to purchase each of the facilities from the developers. None of the announced projects will be owned by third party developers, but Dominion stated it is also pursuing power purchase agreements with other solar developers as a result of such RFP.
Dominion filed certificates of public convenience and necessity for the projects with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (“SCC”), seeking the SCC’s approval which would allow construction on the projects to begin next spring. Dominion explained that the three solar projects are part of Dominion’s previously announced plan to develop 400 MW of large-scale solar projects in the state of Virginia by 2020. The projects are estimated to cost approximately $129.5 million, excluding financing costs. To recover such costs, Dominion has requested adding 7 cents to the average residential bill, known as a “rate adjustment clause” or “rider,” which would take effect December 1, 2016.
Dominion’s press release can be viewed here: http://dom.mediaroom.com/2015-10-01-Dominion-Virginia-Power-seeks-to-build-56-megawatts-of-new-solar