Saturday, November 26, 2022

Dominion Energy Proposes More Than $600 Million for Grid Modernization

Surry Power Station (Photo courtesy Dominion Virginia Power)
Surry Power Station (Photo courtesy Dominion Virginia Power)

RICHMOND — The first phase of Dominion Energy’s 10-year Grid Transformation Plan (GT Plan) is underway, and the power and energy company has proposed spending hundreds of millions of dollars in Phase II.

Dominion filed a proposal with State Corporation Commission for Phase II of the GT Plan, which would set aside about $669 million in capital investments between 2022 and 2023, according to a Dominion press release.

Dominion has said that the GT Plan will help provide its customers with more reliable service, greater access to clean energy sources, and additional ways to conserve energy.

“As a society, electricity plays a more prominent role than ever in our everyday lives, whether we’re powering businesses and essential service providers, working or learning at home, or charging our electric vehicle,” said Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “And as we bring more renewable energy onto our distribution grid to build a cleaner future, we must modernize the way the system works, including adding new capabilities. We must act now and remain agile to deliver the reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy that our customers want and expect.”

Phase II aims to integrate distributed energy resources (DERs), which include small-scale solar, wind and energy storage facilities, as well as electric vehicles. Dominion said in the press release that the grid was not designed with widespread implementation of DERs in mind.

The integration of DERs into the grid will require more data about the state of the grid, “as well as the systems to process, manage, and use that data to optimize grid operations,” according to the press release.

Dominion proposed investing in new technology, including installing new systems that will manage and utilize data, and another system that will improve customer reliability through smart grid control devices. New metering infrastructure and intelligent grid devices will gather and share the data over a secure telecommunications network.

In Phase I of the GT Plan, Dominion made efforts to improve the security and reliability of the distribution grid, and also launch a new customer information platform.

The business consulting firm West Monroe Partners conducted a cost-benefit analysis and concluded the proposed investments will provide a benefit to customers and a positive business case for Dominion.

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