For Immediate Release: May 1, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Macaulay Porter, Macaulay.Porter@governor.virginia.gov
RICHMOND, VA – Dominion Energy today released its 2023 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) which presents a suite of strategic pathways to ensure the utility’s generation fleet is positioned to provide consistent delivery of electricity to Virginia’s families and businesses 24/7, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year. The IRP includes expanded need for baseload generation technologies such as natural gas and nuclear, in addition to renewable technologies like wind, solar, and storage, in all its pathways.
“Today’s announcement by Dominion Energy validates our All-American, All-of-the-Above energy plan released in October 2022, which called for commonsense energy policy, including flexibility in our laws and regulations. Virginia’s economy is growing, and the accelerated electricity demands of Virginia’s industrial users demonstrate the need for a more realistic and judicious approach to power planning. We support an all-of-the-above, approach that embraces the use of innovative generation technologies to bring more capacity online, while also thoughtfully managing the retirement of existing generation capacity, to satisfy the growing needs of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
PJM, Virginia’s regional transmission operator, recently sounded the alarm on increasing reliability risks resulting from the premature retirement of generation facilities across the nation. Dominion’s IRP proactively provides alternatives that delay scheduled retirements of current generators to maintain Virginia’s current and future grid reliability.
The threat of premature retirements, and the resulting reduction to baseload and dispatchable generation capacity they produce, is magnified when the outsized load growth of Virginia is evaluated. PJM’s revised load forecast reveals that Dominion’s load will grow at 5% annually – higher than annual growth projected for Virginia when the Clean Economy Act was evaluated, and multiples of the 1% annual growth projected for the entire PJM region in the revised forecast.
“As we explained last fall, there is a significant mismatch between supply and demand in the VCEA framework. Baseload generation provides the energy backbone to Virginia’s economy, and it would be a huge mistake to turn it off without an achievable plan to replace it. I applaud Dominion Energy for taking a serious look at the anticipated demand and providing commonsense pathways to proactively delay the retirement of critical baseload capacity in this IRP,” Youngkin continued. “Our regulated utilities have the responsibility to ‘keep the lights on.’”
The IRP also outlines that sticking with the current planned retirements will require the utility to purchase 100-300 percent more power from neighboring states that participate in PJM to meet forecasted demand, and increasing the amount of power purchased outside Virginia will subject residents and businesses to the changing power production policies and costs of other states.
“Much more work remains to be done to guarantee Virginians reliable, affordable and clean electricity. This commonsense recognition by Dominion is an important first step, and we will continue to work with all stakeholders to accelerate the deployment of critical infrastructure and new technologies such as advanced nuclear, hydrogen, carbon capture, and battery storage, that maintain the integrity of Virginia’s grid and ensure the state controls its own generation destiny,” said Governor Youngkin.
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