Alternative Energy Solutions
Dominion’s Alternative Energy Solutions (AES) group serves as the hub for green and emerging energy technology research and development. AES conducts research surrounding renewable energy and energy efficiency techniques in support of the company’s operating segments. The group also analyzes federal and state policies, incentives and subsidies, and looks for investment opportunities.
Renewable Energy Production and Investments
Renewable Energy Research and Development Grants
Appalachian School of Law, Grundy, Va., $95,000 (2013-2015): Removing Barriers to the Development of Onshore Wind Energy in Virginia - An analysis of the legal, regulatory, policy, and public opinion obstacles and opportunities for onshore wind development in Virginia.
George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus, Ashburn, Va., $150,000 (2013-2015): High-Efficiency Intermediate-Band Solar Cells with Quantum Dots - Motivated by advancements in nanotechnology, this project will seek to engineer solar cells that will use the unique properties of quantum dots to raise conversion efficiency of solar light into electricity.
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., $500,000 (2013-2015): Development of a Test Facility for Photovoltaic Systems - The establishment of a test facility to study issues related to economics, operation, maintenance, and performance of large-scale solar installations.
Randolph Macon College, Ashland, Va., $96,000 (2014-2015): Integration of Battery Storage with Solar Distributed Generation - An exploration of the benefits of integrated battery and solar generation and support the development of energy conservation strategies for large-scale consumers.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., $150,000 (2013-2015): Ultralight Technologies for Offshore Wind Cost-of-Energy Savings - An engineering design and cost-of-energy study to investigate the potential impact that segmented ultralight morphing rotors and hydraulic power transmission, can bring to offshore wind energy cost.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., $100,000 (2014-2015): Energy Harvesting: Developing Piezoelectric Materials for Passive Energy Harvesting - An investigation and development of advanced composite materials to harvest waste energy.
Virginia State University, Ettrick, Va., $150,000 (2013-2015): Green Roof Initiative - Seeks to combine green roof and alternative energy technologies to improve the building energy efficiency of and the sustainable use of irrigation water.
Virginia Tech,Blacksburg, Va., $300,000 (2013-2015): Center for Natural Resources Assessment and Decision Support - Establishment of a new center to ensure Virginia forests are used and managed for the benefit of current and future generations.
Virginia Union University, Richmond, Va., $150,000 (2013-2015): Sustainable Design Strategies - The collection of baseline energy usage data at campus facilities to be used in the design of energy efficient buildings and for sustainable design strategies.
Kitty Hawk Microgrid
A microgrid is a group of distributed generation resources and loads that act as a single controllable entity. The Company commissioned a microgrid project involving renewable generation and energy storage technologies at its Kitty Hawk District Office in North Carolina in July 2014.
This project includes four types of micro-wind turbines producing up to 13 kW of power, a 6 kW solar PV array, and a lithium-ion battery that is integrated with the existing on-site diesel generator and utility feed. The project includes extensive metering and monitoring equipment for purposes of project data collection. An on-site kiosk that provides real-time data on the operation of the microgrid was incorporated into the project’s design.
Dominion expanded the microgrid project in July 2015 to integrate two small-scale fuel cells. The fuel cells’ ability to produce continuous power will be tested with the microgrid’s existing renewable generation sources.
Virginia Solar Pathways Project
Dominion and a partnership team were selected to receive a 3-year award for up to $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to assist in expanding solar power in Virginia. The funding will be used to develop short- and long-term strategies to make solar energy more cost-competitive with traditional energy sources without raising rates for other customers.
Dominion’s partnership team consists of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy; the City of Virginia Beach; Old Dominion University; Metro Washington Council of Governments; Bay Electric Co., Inc.; Piedmont Environmental Council; Virginia Community College System; and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
As part of this project, Dominion procured a third-party consultant to perform two solar integration studies. The first study will provide a roadmap for the safe and reliable integration of solar DG on the distribution grid. The second study will analyze how greater quantities of residential and utility scale solar PV will interact with the Company’s existing electric generation portfolio. After the studies are completed, Dominion and the stakeholder team will begin discussions of a solar strategy for the Commonwealth. Successful strategies will be made available to states throughout the Southeast.
Randolph Macon Solar + Storage
A new Dominion Virginia Power solar installation at Randolph-Macon College is pushing the boundaries of what solar panels can do, and represents the first fully integrated solar and battery storage installation of its kind in Virginia. The project is testing two unique battery technologies, along with a roof-mounted solar system, to determine how efficiently the batteries can provide power even when the sun isn’t shining.
Programs and Initiatives
Solar Partnership Program - Dominion Virginia Power's Solar Partnership Program encourages and supports the growth of solar energy in Virginia in partnership with our customers. The program is comprised of two SCC-approved demonstration projects:
Solar Generation Project - This program allows the construction and operation of company-owned solar generation facilities at various commercial, industrial and public government locations. The purpose of the demonstration is to assess the benefits solar-distributed generation has on the company’s system.
Solar Purchase Program - This is a rate program for Dominion customers who own solar generation installations. It will allow qualifying solar customer-generators to sell all of their solar generation to the company at a fixed price of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour for a period of five years and to purchase all of their electricity from the company on their current rate schedule.
Offshore Wind - View the following news releases:
Three Coal Stations Converted to Biomass - On March 16, 2012, Dominion Virginia Power received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission to convert three Virginia power stations from using coal to using biomass, a renewable energy source. The conversions provide environmental and customer benefits and generate statewide economic development benefits of up to $120 million annually when compared to continued operations on coal. The power stations in Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton County, which generate about 51 megawatts each, are nearly identical and went into operation in 1992. The conversions began burning biomass in late 2013.
Green Power Programs - Dominion Green Power (Virginia) and NC Greenpower (North Carolina)
Dominion Innovation Center
The Dominion Resources Innovation Center was founded in 2009 to provide start-up organizations with mentoring, engaged guidance, and business support services. Although member companies tend to be technology-oriented and clean-tech/alternative energy companies, the center is always looking for solid business concepts with scalability. The Innovation Center was recently relocated to a repurposed firehouse in Ashland, Virginia
The Dominion IDeAS program provides employees with an easy, risk-free way to turn their creative solutions into marketable products and services. From concept development to prototyping, market assessment, intellectual property protection, and licensing, an IDeAS innovation team member is there to support and coach the employee inventor every step of the way. Successful inventions qualify for the IDeAS Honors program that provides employees with mix of recognitions and rewards, including a share in any revenues that may result from commercialization.