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Solar + storage bypassed in Dominion Virginia’s resource plan

By May 13, 2019 May 16th, 2019 4 Comments

4 Comments

  • aerovado says:

    What happens when companies are given a monopoly by the state.

  • DBallouV says:

    This article is complicated. Could someone ELI5?

  • carmenshields says:

    Why are they dodging solar so much? If it would save them and the customers money, then it seems like the logical direction for a big utility company to move towards.

  • leaveethebj says:

    I wrote this on my phone in one go, so I apologize for any and all mistakes:

    I worked with that modeling software in a previous job, it’s an extremely comprehensive model with an unbelievably large amount of inputs that can be customized to a high degree. You can tell the model how many of which resources (gas peakers, combined cycle, wind, solar, etc.) it is allowed to build a year and it will construct the resources based on the amount of load increase, assumed fuel costs (commodities), drops in supply (older coal plant goes offline), etc.

    The items that were listed in this article that were not considered by Dominion can be added into the model in multiple ways. While it is extra work, it can be done fairly easily.

    To be frank, the company that i worked for that modeled electrical prices didn’t even have solar as an option for new build resources yet either. Solar can’t really turn a profit without a PPA (an agreement for 20+ years for solar power pricing from a solar plant) within a merchant market (PJM is one and Dominion is a member of it). Mostly because a year ago the most economic choices we’re (and still kind of are) gas plants. Natural gas is just so cheap and easy to supply in the US excluding New England.

    The real bullshit to take away from this article is that Dominion is doing a lackluster job exploring other options for electricity. Excluding things like newer solar from their model, and keeping a set cost for solar power on a wholesale level is absolute horse shit. Solar is definitely getting cheaper to build and we can’t move forward in this state if they stick to a fixed price for wholesale solar power. Dominion has always been a fossil fuels supporter, so we need Virginia policy to really step it up and make a mandatory RPS so Dominion will have no choice but to accept more solar.

    Storage will eventually come our way, a lot of utilities are very cautious because its somewhat of a financial blind spot to investors until proven effective. It makes sense in California because of the “duck curve” shape of their daily load. Again, policy will be the driver here and we need smart people in the chairs to swing VA in the right direction.

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