Greens say Dominion inflated demand in IRP to build more plants for CPP compliance
- Clean energy advocates claim Dominion Virginia Power inflated power demand forecasts and the cost of solar power as part of its strategy to justify building new power plants and a fifth nuclear reactor to help it comply with the Clean Power Plan, Southeast Energy News reports.
- The utility outlined $9.5 billion expenditures in its IRP, including $700 million for new solar as part of a $3.5 billion generation buildout. The plan assumes demand will grow 1.5% a year, but critics say its has been flat for a decade.
- Dominion has also defended its quest to build a third reactor at its North Anna plant despite the costs associated with nuclear plant buildout. The utility said the reactor is necessary to meet climate goals
Dominion's long-term plan is coming under fire as clean energy advocates say the utility isn't taking a hard look at other ways to serve power demand without building new fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure.
“The Commission ordered (Dominion) to perform rigorous modeling of how the company might best comply with the CPP. The company’s filing, however, contains several fundamental flaws,” said Will Cleveland, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center in remarks at the State Corporation Commission in Richmond earlier this month.
Dominion defended its modeling technique to its detractors, Southeast Energy News reports, saying they used the same process for 30 years, which has undergone regulatory scrutiny.
In its IRP, Dominion said despite the uncertainty surrounding the Clean Power Plan since the U.S. Supreme Court's freeze, the IRP "strongly focuses on expanding low- and zero-carbon forms of energy generation as the company develops its final approach."
If approved, Dominion would develop 400 MW of utility-scale solar in Virginia by 2020, while looking at shuttering 323 MW of coal fired generation at its Yorktown plant.
- Southeast Energy News Virginia utility accused of inflating demand in Clean Power Plan forecast
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