The president and CEO of Dominion Virginia Power says the utility needs to seek new generation, including wind and solar, as well as build transmission and other facilities to meet growing demand and reliability.
In a letter to ratepayers, Paul Koonce told customers the company plans to invest $7.6 billion over the next five years for new power stations and other electric infrastructure to meet growing demand.Â Â Â
Koonce says the investments also cover reliability enhancements and new technology that will allow customers to save money on their energy bills. In addition to these investments, the company will continue its plan to spend more than $2 billion to improve the environmental performance of its fossil-fueled power stations and anticipates that additional investment may be necessary to meet pending federal regulations.Â
‘The trends remain clear that Virginia's economy continues a slow-but-steady recovery, the state's population is growing, and the demand for energy is moving right along with it,’ Koonce says. ‘We are committed to support that growth in the most cost-effective, reliable and responsible way.’Â
The company's strategy for meeting growing electricity demand, called Powering Virginia, emphasizes using a balanced mix of reliable and economic generation sources including upgrades to existing units, clean-burning natural gas, a state-of-the-art hybrid energy power station, renewable resources and conservation.
Gas-fired units are under construction in Buckingham County, and a hybrid coal-and-biomass station is about 75% complete in southwest Virginia.Â Â
Additionally, the company is looking for wind power sites in Virginia, and plans for a solar project in Halifax County are under development.Â
Of the $7.6 billion in projected capital spending, approximately $4 billion will be for adding or upgrading new transmission and distribution lines, substations and other related facilities that bring power to customers. A circuit-reconditioning program will continue to target lines that experience higher levels of outages.Â
The company's investments will require some increases in rates. On Jan. 1, the company's rates will effectively go up by 4.6% as $268 million in customer credits are completed Dec. 31. Customers have been receiving these credits on their bills since April.Â Â
All rate changes must be approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.Â
SOURCE: Dominion Power