We work to avoid disturbing wildlife and natural habitats, and we have adopted a variety of measures to protect birds, fish, and other wildlife.
We partner with local communities and organizations in these efforts to ensure we have the right expertise in each geographical area. We continue to implement new design standards that avoid affecting wildlife, and we are creating habitat for birds, bees, and other pollinators.
In recent years, these efforts have included initiatives such as new standards to protect raptors and other birds from collision with our infrastructure; netting to prevent bats from flying into power-station air-cooled condensers; construction and operation of fish-passage structures (eelways) that allow American Eels to access their historical range above the Roanoke Rapids and Gaston Dams; and monitoring programs to optimize fishery management.
Creating, Protecting, and Restoring Habitat
Dominion Energy’s service territory encompasses a wide range of habitats. We are committed to protecting and restoring these ecosystems and their abundant biodiversity. In 2020, we took the following steps:
- At our Clover Power Station in Virginia, we developed a wetlands management program, through which we will cooperate with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources to sustain and improve wetlands on station property.
- At the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, employees carried out a clean-up of the banks of Russell Creek, which traverses the station before feeding into the Clinch River, which contains one of the nation’s greatest concentrations of rare and imperiled freshwater species. The effort removed 344 pounds of trash.
- In Surry County, Virginia, we built wildlife corridors into the design of the Colonial Trail West solar project.
- In our Gas Distribution groups, we’ve leveraged horizontal directional drilling to minimize impacts to the environment when installing new pipeline segments.
In South Carolina, we own Seabrook, a 72-megawatt solar facility located on a 628-acre tract in rural Beaufort County. Thanks to a partnership with Beaufort County Open Land Trust and the ACE Basin Task Force, the project, which can provide enough energy to power 9,000 homes, is the first to be sited on land protected permanently by a conservation easement.
In 2020, Dominion Energy launched several additional efforts:
- At our North Anna Power Station in Virginia, we responded to the presence of a significant Osprey population by developing a plan to install nesting platforms at five locations around the property. The platforms were installed in early 2021.
- In South Carolina, employees installed 20 Prothonotary warbler boxes in lakes at the former Canadys Generating site in Colleton County. The warbler migrates from distances as far as South America; its native habitat is being impacted by development. Dominion Energy’s sustainability project will help ensure the warbler has a future as bright as its distinctive coloring.
We manage our electric rights-of-way to increase habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and other
pollinators, and have committed to establishing or placing under development another 350 acres of
pollinator habitat with native species by 2025.
Dominion Energy Virginia is on track to add 160 acres of pollinator habitat by that date, and has exceeded its 100-acre commitment for solar pollinator habitat by more than 20%. Our Project Construction organization planted pollinator species at the Chestnut solar facility in Halifax County, N.C., in 2020.
Following the construction of the Yemassee-to-Burton transmission line, Dominion Energy South Carolina restored two miles of the old transmission line footprint for native pollinators. Five additional sites will be more extensively managed for pollinators in conjunction with The Audubon Society.