Dominion Virginia Power, the Department of the Navy and the Commonwealth of Virginia today reached an agreement to construct a 21-megawatt direct current (18- megawatt alternating current) solar energy facility at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va.
"Solar is an integral part of Dominion's commitment to renewable energy," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and CEO. "The Oceana solar facility, along with four other large solar facilities we have announced in Virginia, will bring clean energy to the state, new jobs and other economic benefits. Partnerships like the ones highlighted with the Department of Navy and the Commonwealth help to make our state a more attractive place to live, work and do business. We are very proud of what we have collectively accomplished today."
Dominion filed a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity permit with the State Corporation Commission on Aug. 1, 2016. The facility is expected to be completed and operational in late 2017. In exchange for the nearly 100 acres that will house the 179,000 solar panels, the Navy will receive an alternative electric feed, which will increase energy resiliency on the base. The facility will produce enough electricity at peak to power about 4,400 homes.
This is the second solar project Dominion has collaborated on with the Navy. In December 2015, construction was completed at Morgans Corner, a fixed-tilt 25-megawatt direct current (20-megawatt alternating current) facility spanning 110 acres and consisting of 81,054 solar panels located in Pasquotank County, N.C. The project is under a power purchase agreement.
"Not only did we meet the one gigawatt (GW) goal ashore five years early, we surpassed it – reaching 1.1 GW by the end of last year. In doing so we've achieved $90 million in nominal energy cost savings, $62 million in energy security hardware upgrades to bases, 170 megawatts of access to power during outages and 22 million tons of CO2 abated. And we are just getting started," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "Today, the State of Virginia, the Hampton Roads community, Dominion Virginia Power and our Navy and Marine Corps are joining together to add to our success, to protect the future of NS Norfolk and NAS Oceana, and to enhance national security for the American people."
"Today marks a historic day for both the Commonwealth and the Navy," said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "This announcement shows that the Commonwealth is leading by example in driving the clean energy economy forward in Virginia and working to combat climate change. It also highlights the importance my administration places on working with our most important economic partners like the U.S. Department of the Navy."
Dominion will retire, on the Commonwealth's behalf, renewable energy certificates in an amount equivalent to the amount of RECs generated by the Oceana solar facility.