Dominion plans major solar project

Fresh off the heels of the Remington Solar Power project that was announced Jan. 20, Dominion Virginia Power is seeking to expand the solar power output for the state.

In a news release issued Thursday, the company stated that the planned “multiple large-scale” solar projects are projected to total 400 megawatts of electricity. This power is estimated to have the capacity to power 100,000 homes.

Although no sites have been announced, Dominion media relations coordinator Rob Richardson noted that Dominion is “actively working on identifying and selecting” locations for construction.

One of the major factors in the search, Richardson said, is “evaluating the slope and terrain of land” and that Dominion is seeking “flat land with no trees.”

Richardson said that the amount of projects Dominion ends up constructing will “depend on land acquisitions.”

“Typically, large-scale solar projects require 6 to 8 acres of land per 1 megawatt of electricity,” he said. “Ideally, Dominion is looking for larger installations — 5 megawatts and greater.”

Dominion is expecting to invest $700 million into the project.

Similar to the Remington Solar project, if approved, this major effort would raise the monthly billing costs of residents by 50 cents.

According to Richardson, one of the reason for solar power’s importance is that the “projects will have no fuel costs or emissions.”

The “zero-emission” generation from solar power, Richardson said, “will assist with meeting EPA carbon reduction requirements for Virginia.”

According to the proposed Clean Power Plan, the target carbon emission reduction for Virginia is 37.8 percent by 2030.

Richardson said this massive project will benefit the state by involving “Virginia-based companies.”

This project and the Remington Solar Plant need the approval of the State Corporation Commission. If approved, the new projects are expected to be up and running by 2020.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or