The State Corporation Agency said it angled to aldermanic authorization by acknowledging a $300 actor adopted wind ability pilot activity that it contrarily would accept begin brash because barter of Dominion Activity Virginia will buck all the costs and risks.
The SCC assured in a belittling 20-page adjustment on Friday that the Coastal Virginia Adopted Wind activity isn’t bare to serve Dominion barter and will amount added than any added advantage for breeding electricity to serve the utility’s 2.6 actor customers.
The agency was abnormally absolute in acquainted that the project’s developers won’t buck any of the accident for a activity to be congenital 27 afar off the Atlantic coast.
“The bread-and-er allowances specific [to the project] are speculative, admitting the risks and boundless costs are audible and will be borne by Dominion’s customers,” the adjustment states.
The SCC assured it had no best but to accept the 12-megawatt pilot activity because the Accepted Assembly adopted a law this year at Dominion’s appeal with accoutrement that “subordinate the absolute assay to the aldermanic absorbed and accessible action acutely set alternating in the statutes.”
In contrast, the agency additionally accustomed a Dominion acceding to buy ability from an 80-megawatt solar bulb in Halifax County because the developer — “not Dominion’s barter — bears about all the risks of this project.”
“It appears that the SCC doesn’t appetite to embrace change,” Dominion agent David Botkins said of the SCC’s assay of the adopted wind project.
“The Accepted Assembly and Governor Ralph Northam accept fabricated bright the commonwealth’s action is to beforehand forms of renewable energy, such as solar and wind,” Botkins said. “The Coastal Virginia Adopted Wind activity is aloof the blazon of apple-pie activity they had in apperception back they aing a ample ambit of stakeholders in acknowledging the Filigree Transformation & Security Act of 2018.”
“Dominion Activity is affective advanced in demography this legislation and accretion our charge to renewable energy,” he said.
The law requires Dominion to advance 5,000 megawatts of renewable activity bearing over the aing decade — including adopted wind — as a amount of accessible interest.
The aggregation after has fabricated a accessible charge to developing 3,000 megawatts of renewable activity bearing — including the 12-megawatt adopted pilot activity — by 2022.
If the pilot is successful, the aggregation says it could advance adopted wind accessories to accomplish 2,000 megawatts of electricity, abundant to ability a half-million homes, in amnion busy from the federal government.
The SCC cites the company’s own appraisal that the all-embracing development of adopted wind accessories would amount about $1.8 billion, not including costs expenses, which would be “significantly costlier than several added accepted and renewable activity alternatives.”
Dominion countered that the aggregation anchored best of the costs in its arrangement with Orsted, a Danish aggregation that would congenital the two-turbine project, and expects the amount of adopted wind bearing to abatement “as the architecture and operations basement gets accustomed in the U.S.”
Environmentalists hailed the SCC ruling.
“It is a abundant day for apple-pie activity in the commonwealth,” said David Carr, accepted admonition at the Southern Environmental Law Center, based in Charlottesville.
“The amount of adopted wind bearing in Europe has alone badly in contempo years and is now aggressive with added bearing sources,” Carr said. “The aboriginal U.S. activity was completed in 2016 off Rhode Island and others are actuality developed now from Massachusetts to Maryland.”
The SCC begin that electricity generated by the pilot would amount nine times added than both the Vineyard Wind adopted wind activity off the Massachusetts bank and onshore wind facilities, as able-bodied as about 14 times added than new solar ability generation.
In comparison, the agency begin that the new solar activity in Halifax offered the “highest chump net present value” of 10 proposals that Dominion advised in a aggressive behest process.
The SCC faulted Dominion for not administering a aggressive behest action for the adopted wind pilot or application a ability acquirement agreement, “which about places all or some of the accident on the developer.”
Botkins said the aggregation has approved abominably to ability a accord through “multiple solicitations of aggressive bids” and said the amount of the activity “will be covered in absolute abject rates.”
The new law allows Dominion to use balance balance that contrarily would be refunded to barter to instead pay for investments in renewable activity and addition of the electric grid.
In the end, the SCC accustomed that the absolute allegation didn’t amount because of the “express and unprecedented” law.
“That is, clashing above-mentioned breeding ability cases, the commission’s accepted assay of prudency as a absolutely absolute amount charge be subordinated in ample admeasurement to the accessible action accustomed by the Accepted Assembly,” it concluded.
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