RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has
approved a demonstration project for Dominion Virginia Power which will result in
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 distribution
The SCC order caps the cost of the solar distribution generation program that can
be charged to customers at $80 million. The company was seeking authorization to
spend $111 million, a figure that did not include financing costs.
In its order, the Commission said, “We find that the proposed demonstration Solar
DG Program – the benefits of which are unknown at this time – at the level of cost
proposed by Dominion is not in furtherance of the public interest.” The SCC added,
“We conclude that the company can gain reasonable experience and data based on the
implementation of the program at the cost level approved… .” The order states that
Dominion Virginia Power may seek approval to raise the cost cap after gaining experience
with such solar distribution facilities.
Under the program, Dominion Virginia Power will seek volunteers among commercial
businesses and public facilities throughout its service territory that are willing
to lease sites for installation of solar panels. The capacity of each such installation
will range from 500 kilowatts to 2 megawatts (2,000 kilowatts).
As part of the program, the company must comply with all state environmental requirements
and local zoning and land-use ordinances.
Still under SCC consideration is the company’s proposal to purchase solar-generated
electricity directly from residential and small commercial customers who have installed
their own solar panels. That demonstration project, as proposed, would be limited
to 3 megawatts.
Case number PUE-2011-00117
– company-owned Solar Distribution Generation Program View Order
Case number PUE-2012-00064
– customer-owned Solar Purchase Program and tariff