Virginia clean energy advocates wary of Dominion green power tariff

Dive Brief:

  • Dominion Energy last month proposed a 100% green energy offering for commercial and industrial customers in Virginia—but some clean energy advocates see a wolf in renewable clothing, according to Southeast Energy News.
  • The utility's proposal cites state statutes that would bar retail providers from offering similar energy mixes, leading some to question the Dominion's motives.
  • For instance, earlier this year the Virginia State Corporation Commission allowed Direct Energy to market a 100% renewable product—but only so long as traditional utilities did not make the same offer.

Dive Insight:

Dominion, operating as Virginia Electric, has proposed a 100% green energy tariff for large customers, but choice advocates in the state believe it is really just a way to shut out competition.

Dominion has asked the SCC for permission to market six new tariffs to customers with peak demand greater than 1 MW.  The utility cited Virginia statute that allows the availability of 100% renewable energy options offered by retail providers "if such option is not offered by the incumbent electric utility. 

The controversy comes after Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a slate of bills designed to boost renewable energy and storage in the state. 

Dominion Resources has recently become Dominion Energy: Shareholders voted last week to add "Energy" to the company's brand name, and dropped "Resources" from the corporate moniker. The company said its local electric and gas utilities will unify under the Dominion Energy name in short order. Dominion Virginia Power will subsequently be known as Dominion Energy Virginia.

Also this month, the utility announced plans to purchase a 79 MW solar energy facility under construction in North Carolina, from Cypress Creek Renewables LLC. "A power purchase agreement is in place for the offtake from the solar facility," the utility noted.

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Filed Under: Generation Solar & Renewables
Top image credit: Mortenson Construction