More solar energy generation is on the horizon for Dominion Virginia Power customers as the company works to complete the construction of three large-scale solar facilities in three Virginia counties – Isle of Wight, Louisa and Powhatan. When operational by the end of the year, the solar facilities will produce 56 megawatts (MW) of emission-free generation at peak output, enough energy to power about 14,000 homes.
"We have made tremendous progress since we received all necessary regulatory approvals from state and local jurisdictions," said Ruth Prideaux, director-Generation Projects Renewable Energy. "Our contractor, Amec Foster Wheeler, hired the best workers in the industry and reached out to include local hires, giving them the opportunity to grow their skills even more. We are creating a talented workforce who will be experienced in the construction of utility- and community-scale solar farms, whether they are working for Dominion or other energy companies."
The facilities are at various phases of completion and are on schedule and on budget. More than 800 construction jobs were created, with most being filled within the local communities. During the construction phase, the Commonwealth is expected to see a cumulative economic impact of $74 million from the 2015 planning phase to the completion of the projects.
The projects are:
- Isle of Wight (Woodland Solar) – 80,000 solar panels will produce 19 MW at peak output, enough to power 4,750 homes.
- Louisa (Whitehouse Solar) – 83,000 solar panels will produce 20 MW at peak output, enough to power 5,000 homes.
- Powhatan (Scott Solar) – 77,000 solar panels will produce 17 MW, enough to power 4,250 homes. (Watch video of construction in progress)
Dominion is committed to bringing 400 MW of solar energy to Virginia through 2020. Other planned solar projects, pending regulatory approval, are: the Remington Solar Facility in Fauquier County – a 20 MW facility that will contain about 260,000 photovoltaic panels and is in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and Microsoft; and the Oceana Solar Facility in the City of Virginia Beach – a 17.6 MW facility that will contain about 179,000 panels and is in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Department of Navy.