VIRGINIA BEACH – Governor McAuliffe announced today the first solar project to power state operations with carbon-free, renewable energy. At an event at Naval Air Station Oceana celebrating the Navy’s work on solar energy development, the Governor stated that the Commonwealth will purchase 100% of the energy generated from an 18 megawatt solar facility built by Dominion Virginia Power inside Oceana.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “This historic announcement is the latest step forward in our mission to make Virginia a global leader in the renewable energy economy. I want to thank the Department of the Navy and Dominion for joining us in this partnership to diversify Virginia’s energy mix and enhance the security of our energy infrastructure. Solar energy is an essential element of the all-of-the-above energy approach our Commonwealth needs to keep costs for businesses, families and taxpayers low and continue to build a new Virginia economy.”
Dominion will build, own and operate the solar facility located within the fence line of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach. In addition to purchasing the power, the Commonwealth will retain and retire Renewable Energy Certificates that will be used to satisfy a portion of the state renewable procurement goal. The solar facility is expected to begin service in late 2017.
“The clean energy industry represents a major economic development opportunity for the Commonwealth, and we must embrace the potential of this growth industry,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “This project satisfies over 16% of the Governor’s procurement goal and sends a signal to the clean energy market that Virginia is a welcoming place for renewable energy developers, both large and small.”
“Not only did we meet the one 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.”
“Solar is an integral part of Dominion’s commitment to renewable energy,” said Tom Farrell, CEO of Dominion Resources. “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 today 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.”
In December 2014, the Governor announced that the state will procure up to 8% of its electricity consumption from renewable resources within three years. This goal represents approximately 110 megawatts of installed renewable capacity.
In addition to this announcement, the Department of Navy is celebrating agreements with Dominion Virginia Power that will increase the use of renewable energy to power operations at Naval Station Norfolk.