Dominion Virginia Power to buy solar power from small generators

The Virginia State Corporation Commission has approved a request by Dominion Virginia Power, a unit of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), to buy electricity at above-market rates from customers who own solar generation installations, according to a report from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The approval will allow homeowners and small businesses to sell solar power directly to Dominion Virginia, which a company spokesperson told the Times-Dispatch could encourage more solar generation across the state.

According to the report, the company’s demonstration Solar Purchase Program will allow qualifying solar customer-generators to sell all their solar power to the company for five years and purchase all their electricity from Dominion Virginia at their current rate during that period. A spokesperson said the company will pay around 15 cents/KWh and allow the customers to buy energy for about 10.5 cents/KWh.

According to the company, regular Dominion Virginia customers will pay 4 cents of the 15 cents, with the other 11 cents being paid for by the company’s voluntary Dominion Green Power Program. The 4 cent/KWh portion of the payment represents the avoided cost of generating the electricity or buying the energy on the open market.

Residential participants will be capped at 20 KW of electric generation and small commercial customers will be limited to 50 KW, according to the report. The company will start taking applications for the program on June 20.

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