Virginia 10-year energy plan includes 5 GW of renewables, EVs, grid modernization
- Virginia released its annual 10-year energy plan on Tuesday, recommending development of 3 GW of solar and onshore wind by 2022, and 2 GW of offshore wind by 2028.
- Dominion Energy, the largest electric utility in the state, has partnered with Denmark's DONG Energy to develop a 12 MW Virginia offshore wind facility and officials say it could ultimately be expanded to serve more than 500,000 customers.
- While the plan envisions 5 GW of new renewables within the next decade, it goes beyond adding generation. It also focuses on grid modernization and new technologies, including storage and electric vehicles, and would direct $115 million toward energy efficiency.
Virginia's energy plan is a shopping list of grid transformation technologies, from electric vehicles to offshore wind. Renewables advocates celebrated the plan yesterday, while the state's largest utility said it was still reviewing the document.
Dominion officials told Utility Dive they are still looking over the plan, but said that it fits alongside the company's plans to develop more clean energy resources, including its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.
Additional recommendations in Virginia's plan include developing new corporate solar purchase options, boosting energy efficiency financing opportunities, establishing electric vehicle targets and working with stakeholders to evaluate energy storage options. It also recommends Virginia's state agencies set targets that include a 16% renewable procurement target and a 20% energy efficiency target.
The plan could also help expand the state's solar industry, which currently ranks 17th in the nation with 635 MW of installed capacity, Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said in a statement.
The state has "taken another important step to expand solar energy and promote innovative technologies," Gallagher said, adding that the solar industry "will work with policy leaders, manufacturers and installers across Virginia to meet these benchmarks."
The energy plan follows a stakeholder process conducted by Gov. Ralph Northam, D, this summer, and builds on the Grid Transformation & Security Act, which was enacted this year.
SEIA said that several of its recommendations were incorporated into the energy plan, including for the General Assembly to lift the state's 1% cap on net-metered systems to 5% and raise the caps on third-party power purchase agreements.
"There are a number of proposals in this plan upon which the Administration can act immediately," Executive Director of the Virginia Advanced Economy Harrison Godfrey said. But "the onus is not solely on the Governor, though," he added. "Legislators, regulators and the utilities also must take up the mantle and make this plan a reality."
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy was charged with developing the plan and the agency says it heard from "hundreds of individuals" on policy recommendations to boost renewables, efficiency, storage and electric vehicles.
- Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy 2018 VIRGINIA ENERGY PLAN
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