Corporate

Solar Partnership Program FAQs

About the Program

What is the Solar Partnership Program?

The Solar Partnership Program is a multi-year pilot program in which Dominion will construct and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties throughout the company's Virginia service area. Fully implemented, the program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes. Each installation could generate as much as two megawatts of electricity.

Why does Dominion have the Solar Partnership Program?

This multi-year pilot program is designed to expand Dominion’s understanding of community-based solar energy by studying its impact and assessing its benefits. The company would like to:

  • Gain knowledge and experience operating solar distributed generation
  • Identify optimal sites to understand how solar energy will integrate with our distribution system
  • Encourage and support the growth of solar energy in Virginia
  • Partner with interested customers in utility-owned generation projects
How long will the program be available?

Dominion plans to construct up to 30 megawatts of solar generation and place the facilities in operation by December 31, 2015.

The program requires the property owner or landlord to sign a long-term lease. The solar systems are expected to remain in place for approximately 20 years.  

How much energy can be generated through this program?

Up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar will be constructed through this program. Fully implemented, the program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes. Each installation could generate as much as two megawatts of electricity.

Participation

Who can participate?

Commercial, industrial and public government customers with large amounts of roof space available for lease under terms mutually agreeable with Dominion will be considered. Preferred locations are large, flat rooftops on secure commercial facilities with close proximity to existing Dominion infrastructure.
Dominion will be responsible for determining which sites are best suited for the program using a variety of selection criteria. Dominion will consider:

  • Roof age and remaining life
  • Roof composition and condition
  • Roof warranty provisions
  • Structural analysis
  • Space availability
  • Adequate sun intensity for solar generation

Ideally, at least four of the solar sites would be located in community settings, such as local government buildings, schools, community associations, neighborhood associations or nonprofit organizations.

How can I participate?

Customers interested in having Dominion assess their site for potential participation in the program should fill out the online application form. Dominion will then be in touch as to the next steps of your potential participation in the program.

Why should I consider participating?
  1. Help add more renewable energy to the power pool.
    The installation of solar panels on your rooftop means more renewable energy for Virginia.
  2. Create environmental benefits.
    You are positively impacting the environment by helping reduce emissions.
  3. Be part of a program which is helping to stimulate the market for renewable energy.
    The purchase, installation, and maintenance of solar power facilities helps stimulate the renewable energy industry.
What will it cost me to participate in the Solar Partnership Program?

Under ideal site conditions, there are no direct costs to host facilities. Customers may incur costs for roof upgrades and other costs associated with placing solar facilities on their property.

Will I receive the electricity generated on my roof and/or receive free energy as compensation for my participation?

The generated electricity will be owned by Dominion and will flow back to the grid. Dominion will provide a lease payment in order to install the solar generation on the customer’s property. Participating customers will continue to receive electric service under their existing terms of service with Dominion.   

Who will install and maintain the solar system?

Dominion and qualified agents of Dominion will install and maintain the solar system for the life of the lease.

Do I have to sign a contract to participate?

Yes, the property owner or landlord is required to sign a long-term lease. The solar systems are expected to remain in place for approximately 20 years.

Will I be able to decide where the solar panels will be placed?

Dominion and its engineering consultants will select the proposed locations for a solar system to optimize energy output and to achieve cost effective installations but we will do our best to work with requests by program participants.

What happens if the property is sold?

The lease will be transferred to the new owner and the solar generator will continue to operate.

Who owns the solar system once the program and lease ends?

Dominion plans to retire and remove the solar generator, or upon acceptable terms with the property owner and Dominion, the property owner may purchase the system from Dominion for a negotiated price at the end of the long-term lease.

What happens if my property or the solar panels are damaged?

Dominion will make a decision on the appropriate action, depending on the cause and severity of the damage. If the property is damaged due to the solar panels, Dominion will repair damage that is attributed to the solar system.

Additional Information

Why is Dominion investing in solar systems?

Dominion uses a mix of fuels to generate electricity for customers and is making significant investments in a variety of renewable energy sources to add to our generating capacity. This includes the Solar Partnership Program.

What are some advantages of solar energy?
Solar energy is powered by the renewable energy of the sun. Because solar systems do not burn fuel and have very few moving parts, they are clean and quiet, producing no emissions or greenhouse gases. Power is produced at the site, and may be found to reduce the need for additional distribution infrastructure improvements.
What are some disadvantages of solar energy?

Solar systems have high upfront costs and capacity factors are typically lower than other generation sources. This means energy is only produced when the sun shines with intensity great enough to produce electric power rather than around the clock like other conventional forms of generation.

Is this program the same as net metering, the Solar Purchase Program or other customer-owned generation?

No. This program is specifically for Dominion-owned and operated solar facilities. The net metering program is customer-owned and operated, with renewable energy being used at the generation site. The Solar Purchase Program is customer-owned and operated but under this program, Dominion purchases solar energy from participating customers at a premium rate of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. Participating customers continue to purchase all of their electricity from Dominion on their current rate schedule.

I already have solar panels on my property; can I participate in this program?

No, but you may qualify for the Solar Purchase Program. Under this program, Dominion purchases solar energy from customers at a premium rate of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. Participating customers continue to purchase all of their electricity from Dominion on their current rate schedule.

NYSE : (April 22, 2014) D 70.87 0.14