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RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved the cyber and physical security provisions of a proposed grid transformation plan submitted by Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion). The SCC denied other provisions of the plan that were unsupported by the evidence or where the Commission determined the high costs to customers outweighed any proven benefits.

As presented, Dominion’s 10-year plan was projected to cost approximately $6 billion, including financing, to be recovered from its customers. In this proceeding, Dominion sought approval for the first three-year phase of the plan, which had a total cost of approximately $1.5 billion, including financing. The parts of the plan the SCC approved will cost $154.5 million to be recovered for the first phase. The parts the SCC denied would have cost $1.34 billion for the first phase and $5.07 billion in total.

In its final order, the Commission said, “Dominion’s proposed plan is expensive, so it is important that Dominion’s customers receive adequate benefit for the costs they will bear in their monthly bills.”

With respect to the denied elements, the SCC agreed with the Consumer Counsel of the Office of Attorney General, which argued, “the plan as filed is significantly lacking in detail...” The SCC also agreed with a witness for environmental groups who testified, “As a complete package, the … plan is not cost-effective and will result in an economic loss for all customers.”

The Commission stated, “While we find the plan elements related to cyber and physical security are well-conceived, well-supported and cost-effective, we find that the remaining plan elements, which will cost customers hundreds of millions of dollars, are not.”

One of the costlier elements of the plan that the SCC denied was advanced metering infrastructure, known as smart meters. The Sierra Club, Environmental Respondents and Consumer Counsel all opposed Dominion’s smart meter proposal as not cost-effective. The SCC agreed with an environmental-group witness who testified, “…without a well-reasoned plan, this expensive equipment could … provide little to no benefit to customers.”

Other elements of the plan that were denied included, among other things, grid hardening provisions which involved replacing and rebuilding certain primary electricity line segments. Consumer Counsel and environmental groups all opposed these plan elements as not providing sufficient benefit for their large cost. The Commission agreed.

The Commission’s denial of certain elements of the plan was “without prejudice.” Dominion is free to seek approval for an amended or better supported plan in the future if the company chooses to do so.

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Case Number PUR-2018-00100
View PUR-2018-00100 Final Order

Contact: Ken Schrad (804) 371-9858

RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) will hold a hearing to consider a request by Dominion Energy Virginia for a new rate adjustment clause aimed at recovering costs incurred to comply with state and federal environmental regulations.

The rate adjustment clause, designated Rider E, proposes a revenue requirement of $113.6 million during the 2019 rate year (Nov. 1, 2019-Oct. 30, 2020) to fund environmental projects at four of the company’s power stations.

According to the company, this rider would increase the monthly bill of a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month by approximately $2.15.

A public hearing is scheduled for June 11, 2019, at 10 a.m. The hearing will be held in the SCC’s courtroom on the second floor of the Tyler Building, 1300 East Main Street in downtown Richmond. Anyone wishing to offer public comment at the hearing should arrive early and notify the SCC bailiff.

Written comments on the case are due by June 4, 2019. Anyone wishing to submit written comments may do so by mailing them to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. Please refer to case number PUR-2018- 00195.

Members of the public who wish to comment electronically may do so via the SCC’s website at www.scc.virginia.gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments. Find case number PUR-2018-00195, and hit the “Submit Comments” button for that specific case.

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Case Number PUR-2018-00195 Dominion Energy Virginia Rider E request

Contact: Andy Farmer (804) 371-9141

RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has approved a proposal allowing Appalachian Power Company (APCo) customers voluntarily to purchase electric energy provided 100 percent from sources of renewable energy.

Virginia law permits a Virginia utility company to design a rate that participating customers may choose to pay to receive all their power from a mix of renewable resources. As designed, the rate would charge a premium of $4.25 a month above the standard rate of an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.

Applying applicable Virginia laws, the Commission approved the voluntary renewable energy rider and found that:

  • The participating customer is receiving a product that is provided 100 percent from renewable energy.
     
  • The tariff includes safeguards that hold harmless customers who choose not to participate.
     
  • The rate is reasonable for the purposes of the renewable energy product that is being supplied.
     

The Commission previously had rejected two other proposals from APCo for a 100 percent renewable energy tariff. The order of approval in this case notes that, unlike the prior requests, this proposal ensures that APCo will supply 100 percent renewable energy as defined by statute. And, the rate is reasonable for customers who voluntarily elect such service.

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Case Number PUR-2017-00179
View Order Approving Tariff

Contact: Ken Schrad (804) 371-9858​

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