Dominion CEO: $419 million in transmission in service through end of 3Q17

Dominion Energy has a number of electric transmission projects at various stages of regulatory approval and construction, and through the end of 3Q17, $419 million of assets have been placed into service, Thomas Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and CEO, said on Oct. 30.

“We plan to invest $800 million in our electric transmission business this year and every year thereafter for at least the next decade,” he said during the company’s 3Q17 earnings call.

A company spokesperson told TransmissionHub after the call on Oct. 30 that the transmission projects that were energized this past quarter are:

·      Line #553 (Cunningham-Elmont) Rebuild Phase 1 — Richmond area

·      Eastern STATCOM — Virginia Beach, Va.

·      Colington-R/P Static Var Compensator — Nags Head, N.C.

·      Hathaway Sub 230-115-kV Transformer and 230-kV Ring Bus — Rocky Mount, N.C.

·      Farmville to Chase City Network 115-kV Lines

·      Nansemond River Rebuild

·      Fredericksburg to Four Rivers 115-kV Line Rebuild

During the call, Farrell also noted that the company has a number of solar power projects under development and continues to see demand for renewables from its customers.

“Year-to-date, six solar facilities totaling approximately 169 MW have achieved commercial operation,” he said. “For all remaining 2017 projects, panel deliveries have been secured, and the projects are on schedule for completion this quarter. In total, we have announced 457 MW that will go into service this year, and expect to add another 200 MW by the end of next year, increasing our gross operating portfolio from 1,660 MW to over 1,800 MW, of which 700 MW will be in Virginia and North Carolina.”

He noted that earlier this month, Dominion announced that it will add solar generation to serve a new data center that Facebook plans to build in central Virginia. Pending Virginia State Corporation Commission approval, that need would be met with a new rate option that would allow large energy users to meet their needs through the addition of renewable energy resources, he said.

Farrell also noted that the company is evaluating the potential for a pumped storage project in Virginia, and that a preliminary permit application has been filed with FERC, identifying a potential project site in the state.

“We have also contracted with Virginia Tech to study the feasibility of using an abandoned coal mine in Wise County to construct a pumped storage facility,” he said. “The General Assembly has enacted legislation stating [that] the construction of one or more new pumped storage electric generating facilities in southwest Virginia is in the public interest, with cost recoverable through a rate rider.”

Among other things, he noted that in July, Dominion announced that it had signed an agreement with Ørsted, formerly DONG Energy of Denmark, to build two turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach. The two companies are now refining agreements for engineering, procurement, and construction, he said, adding that Dominion will remain the sole owner of the project, which is targeted for completion in 2020.

“We plan to seek rider recovery for the project during the first half of next year,” he said.

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Corina Rivera-Linares, chief analyst for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 10 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at .

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