Dominion has a variety of renewable projects in the works, including green and emerging energy technology research.
Renewable Energy Production and Investments
Renewable Energy Research and Development Grants
Appalachian School of Law, Grundy, VA, $95,000 (2013-2015): Removing Barriers to the Development of Onshore Wind Energy in Virginia - An analysis of the legal, regulatory, policy, and public opinion obstacles and opportunities for onshore wind development in Virginia.
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, $500,000 (2013-2015): Development of a Test Facility for Photovoltaic Systems - The establishment of a test facility to study issues related to economics, operation, maintenance, and performance of large-scale solar installations.
Randolph Macon College, Ashland, VA, $96,000 (2014-2015): Integration of Battery Storage with Solar Distributed Generation - An exploration of the benefits of integrated battery and solar generation and support the development of energy conservation strategies for large-scale consumers.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, $100,000 (2014-2015): Energy Harvesting: Developing Piezoelectric Materials for Passive Energy Harvesting - An investigation and development of advanced composite materials to harvest waste energy.
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, $300,000 (2013-2015): Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support - Establishment of a new center to ensure Virginia forests are used and managed for the benefit of current and future generations.
Kitty Hawk Microgrid
A microgrid is a group of distributed generation resources and loads that act as a single controllable entity. Dominion Energy commissioned a microgrid project involving renewable generation and energy storage technologies at the Kitty Hawk District Office in North Carolina in July 2014. The project includes:
- four types of micro-wind turbines producing up to 14-kW of power, a 6-kW solar PV array, and a lithium-ion battery integrated with the existing on-site diesel generator and utility feed,
- extensive metering and monitoring equipment for data collection, and
- an on-site kiosk for real-time data on the operation of the microgrid.
The project was expanded in July 2015 to integrate two small-scale fuel cells. The fuel cells’ ability to produce continuous power will be tested with the microgrid’s existing renewable generation sources.
Virginia Solar Pathways Project
Dominion Energy and a partnership team were selected to receive a 3-year award for up to $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to assist in expanding solar power in Virginia. The funding will be used to develop short- and long-term strategies to make solar energy more cost-competitive with traditional energy sources without raising rates for other customers.
The partnership team consists of:
- The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
- The City of Virginia Beach
- Old Dominion University
- Metro Washington Council of Governments
- Bay Electric Co., Inc.
- Piedmont Environmental Council
- Virginia Community College System
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
As part of this project, we procured a third-party consultant to perform two solar integration studies. The first study will provide a road map for the safe and reliable integration of solar DG on the distribution grid. The second study will analyze how greater quantities of residential and utility scale solar PV will interact with the our existing electric generation portfolio.
After the studies are completed, Dominion Energy and the stakeholder team will begin discussions of a solar strategy for the Commonwealth. Successful strategies will be made available to states throughout the Southeast.
Randolph Macon Solar + Storage
A new Dominion Energy Virginia solar installation at Randolph-Macon College is pushing the boundaries of what solar panels can do, and represents the first fully integrated solar and battery storage installation of its kind in Virginia. The project is testing two unique battery technologies, along with a roof-mounted solar system, to determine how efficiently the batteries can provide power even when the sun isn't shining.
Programs and Initiatives
Dominion Energy Virginia's Solar Partnership Program encourages and supports the growth of solar energy in Virginia in partnership with our customers. This program allows the construction and operation of company-owned solar generation facilities at various commercial, industrial and public government locations. The purpose of the demonstration is to assess the benefits solar-distributed generation has on the company’s system.
Dominion Energy Virginia’s Solar Purchase Program is designed to help customers cover the cost of installing solar generation while also promoting more local solar energy production. The Solar Purchase Program is a rate program for customers who own solar generation installations, and allows qualifying solar customer-generators to sell all of their solar generation to the company at a fixed price of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour for a period of five years while purchasing all of their electricity from the company on their current rate schedule.
Offshore Wind - News releases:
Three Coal Stations Converted to Biomass - On March 16, 2012, we received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission to convert three Virginia power stations from using coal to using biomass, a renewable energy source. The conversions provide environmental and customer benefits and generate statewide economic development benefits of up to $120 million annually when compared to continued operations on coal. The power stations in Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County, which generate about 51-megawatts each, are nearly identical and went into operation in 1992. The conversions began burning biomass in late 2013.
Dominion Innovation Center
The Dominion Resources Innovation Center was founded in 2009 to provide start-up organizations with mentoring, engaged guidance and business support services. Although member companies tend to be technology-oriented and clean-tech/alternative energy companies, the center is always looking for solid business concepts with scalability. The Innovation Center was recently relocated to a repurposed firehouse in Ashland, Virginia.
The Dominion IDeAS program provides employees with an easy, risk-free way to turn their creative solutions into marketable products and services. From concept development to prototyping, market assessment, intellectual property protection, and licensing, an IDeAS innovation team member is there to support and coach the employee inventor every step of the way. Successful inventions qualify for the IDeAS Honors program that provides employees with mix of recognition and rewards, including a share in any revenues that may result from commercialization.