New kinds of energy require new ways to deliver them.
We are expanding our generation portfolio, upgrading the electric grid, and modernizing our gas infrastructure to better meet the next-generation energy needs of the communities we serve.
Building the Future Today
In 2020, we made substantial progress developing renewable energy resources that will help us cut emissions even further.
- We placed into service 253 megawatts of solar within the Dominion Energy Virginia segment. As of Jan. 1, 2021, the company owned 1,381 megawatts of solar in Virginia and North Carolina, and held power-purchase agreements for another 1,414 megawatts. An additional 4,367 megawatts of solar capacity is currently in development or under construction in Virginia.
- We completed work on the 12-megawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project (enabling it to be placed in service in January 2021).
- We announced a Dominion Energy-led consortium to build the roughly $500 million Charybdis, the first Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel in America. The vessel is on track to begin supporting U.S. wind projects in late 2023 and will provide an option for the construction of the CVOW commercial project.
- In October 2020, we filed our first Renewable Portfolio Standard Development Plan with the State Corporation Commission of Virginia (SCC), laying out our long-term plan to achieve the renewable development targets of the VCEA. The plan was approved in April 2021.
- In that filing, we also petitioned for approval of three solar projects totaling roughly 82 megawatts, and for approval to contract for another 416 megawatts of solar energy through third-party power-purchase agreements (PPAs).
- We filed a construction and operations plan with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management initiating federal review of our planned 2.6-gigawatt offshore wind farm.
- We issued a request for proposals for up to 1,000 megawatts of solar and onshore wind, through both acquisitions and PPAs, and for 250 megawatts of storage.
- We filed a construction and operations plan with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management initiating federal review of our planned 2,640-megawatt offshore wind farm.
- Dominion Energy Ohio and Dominion Energy West Virginia replaced a total of 165 miles of gas pipelines as part of their pipeline replacement programs. October 2020 marked the 12th anniversary of DEO’s pipeline infrastructure replacement program, with over 2,000 miles of target pipe replaced.
- Dominion Energy Virginia added 45 miles of new electric transmission lines and 11 new substations; refurbished 185 miles of transmission lines and expanded or modified 39 substations to increase capacity and grid reliability, and interconnect renewable energy projects; and installed more than 225,000 smart meters.
- Dominion Energy South Carolina (DESC) launched a multi-year roll-out of advanced metering infrastructure and installed 110,000 meters.
- Dominion Energy Utah mobilized construction of the approximately $200-million Magna LNG facility, an on-system natural gas storage facility capable of storing 1.2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas that is expected to enter service in the second half of 2022.
- Dominion Energy South Carolina received an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issuing a new, 50-year license for our 576-megawatt Fairfield pumped-storage facility and our 15-megawatt Parr Hydroelectric facility.
- DESC commenced construction on a Dominion Energy affiliate-owned six-megawatt solar facility interconnected with DESC system.
- Dominion Energy Virginia has converted nearly 80,000 overhead streetlights to LED in Virginia and North Carolina. DESC launched a similar program in late 2020; through October 2021, it had converted 6,501 streetlights.
During preparation of this report, Dominion Energy continued to execute on its clean-energy strategy. Here are some of the actions we have taken to date in 2021:
- In Utah, we launched development of ThermH2, a pilot project that uses a simulated small town to analyze the effect of blending hydrogen into the natural-gas distribution system. We are exploring a similar project for North Carolina.
- April: Issued a request for proposals in April 2021 for up to 1,000 megawatts of solar and onshore wind, through both acquisitions and power purchase agreements (PPAs), and for 250 megawatts of storage.
- May: Received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on our request to extend the license of our Surry Power Station for another 20 years.
- June: Received approval for Dominion Energy South Carolina’s updated IRP with a “preferred” low-carbon plan.
- August: Dominion Energy South Carolina filed an IRP update that includes plans with additional solar over the next five years in the preferred plan.
- Filed our second Renewable Portfolio Standard Plan with the Virginia State Corporation Commission which included updates to our Plan.
- Petitioned for approval to enter into 24 PPAs for 32 separate solar and energy storage resources totaling 253 megawatts of solar and 33 megawatts of energy storage.
- Filed the Dominion Energy Virginia IRP Update. The updated plans significantly reduce carbon emissions each year.
Nuclear energy is an essential part of the fight against climate change. Dominion Energy’s nuclear fleet constitutes
the largest source of carbon-free energy in our generating portfolio and will grow increasingly important as we pursue
our net zero goal. Our nuclear power stations provide more than a third of our total electricity generation capacity —
enough energy to power roughly 3 million homes around the clock. Our nuclear fleet in Virginia accounts for about 95% of
Virginia’s zero-carbon generation, avoiding about 8 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. In Connecticut, our Millstone
Power Station provides 42% of the state’s electricity, and more than 90% of its carbon-free electricity. V.C. Summer in South
Carolina produces enough carbon-free electricity to power 225,000 homes.
As part of Dominion Energy’s focus on reliability and its commitment to achieve net zero emissions, the company is committed to extending the continued operation of its nuclear fleet. We have submitted applications to extend the licenses of our Surry and North Anna Power Stations for an additional 20 years. (In May 2021, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved our application for Surry.) We are evaluating license extensions for our other nuclear stations as well. Any decision to pursue the extension of the operating license for our Millstone Power Station, in particular, would depend on whether public policy and energy markets sufficiently compensate the plant for its zero-carbon, around-the-clock generation and support the long-term operation of the plant.
Natural Gas Sustainability
Natural gas plays a major role in reducing our greenhouse-gas emissions. It has enabled Dominion Energy to
transition away from coal, helping to reduce coal’s share of our electricity generation from 52% in 2005 to
10% by the end of 2020. In the future, natural gas will continue to serve the crucial function of providing
on-demand backup power that can ramp up when intermittent renewable sources such as solar and wind ramp down.
By doing so, natural gas will enable the rapid expansion of renewable energy while maintaining the reliability
customers depend on. Natural gas also remains important for customer end uses such as home heating and manufacturing.
Dominion Energy is working hard to make our natural gas distribution business more sustainable. The company has an extensive program to replace cast-iron, bare steel, and ineffectively coated steel pipelines and service lines with lower-emitting plastic pipe or coated steel. We also have implemented a variety of other voluntary best management practices in order to further reduce our methane emissions, including reducing, and eliminating where feasible, blowdowns during operational activities and construction projects and an extensive voluntary leak detection and repair program.
In addition to modernizing our pipelines, we also conduct pilots to prepare our system to blend hydrogen with natural gas to further reduce emissions and deliver clean energy to customers.
We continue to develop our RNG business. By blending carbon-negative RNG into our pipeline systems, we will reduce the greenhouse gas impact of natural gas. For example, our compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in Utah are being fueled almost solely with RNG. In addition, our GreenThermSM program allows customers to support this effort by voluntarily purchasing blocks of environmental attributes from RNG. In Utah and Idaho, each $5 monthly block buys a half-dekatherm of RNG green attributes. To learn more about the environmental benefits of GreenTherm, please refer to page 16 in our 2020 Annual GreenTherm Program Report.
As noted in the “Reducing Emissions Throughout the Value Chain” section, Dominion Energy is increasingly focused on Scope 3 emissions — those upstream and downstream from our own operations.
To encourage reductions in emissions by our suppliers, we are soliciting emissions disclosures, promoting the adoption of net-zero goals, and building coalitions with industry peers. To help our natural gas customers shrink their own greenhouse-gas footprint, we are promoting efficiency programs — including residential rebates for weatherization and dual-fuel heating, as well as residential and commercial energy assessments and a program for homebuilders. At present, Utah has ThermWise, an energy-efficiency program through which customers have saved more than 3,250,000 dekatherms and are on track to increase gas savings 50% by 2025. We anticipate increasing funding for these efforts by as much as 45% by 2025 (subject to regulatory approval), and project they will not only lower customers’ bills, but cut emissions by an aggregate 150,000 tons of CO2e. We intend (subject to regulatory approval) to expand our GreenThermSM program for RNG attributes to other states.
Dominion Energy Virginia’s Grid Transformation Plan (GT Plan) is a comprehensive program to make prudent
investments on the electric grid to meet the future needs outlined in the VCEA, while improving both grid
resilience and the customer experience.
In March 2020, the Virginia SCC issued a final order partially approving numerous foundational elements in Phase I of the GT Plan – including the customer information platform, several grid-hardening initiatives, a microgrid at Dominion Energy’s Locks Campus, hosting-capacity analysis, cyber and physical security elements, and the Smart Charging Infrastructure Pilot Program.
During the remainder of the year, Dominion Energy Virginia made progress on many of these elements — including the launch of the customer information platform, the completion of an initial substation hardening project, grid hardening investments, the deployment of more than 20 miles of telecommunications fiber to ensure communication with critical equipment, the launch of a hosting capacity tool, and the launch of the smart-charging infrastructure pilot project.
Phase II of the GT Plan was filed with the SCC in June 2021, with a final order expected no later than January 2022. Phase II aims to build from the foundation and successes provided in Phase I, as we look forward to continuing our efforts to transform Virginia’s electric grid as part of our journey to become a net zero carbon utility.