Dominion’s Response to Citizen Criticism of 15-Year Energy Plan Only Reconfirms Skepticism

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    In an attempt to defend its almost complete disregard of clean energy in its Integrated Resource Plan, Dominion VA Power made a number of arguments in its defense in a statement given to the Associated Press prior to a scheduled SCC hearing regarding its 15-year energy plan on Tuesday. First, Dominion emphasized that its 15-year plan is not “set in stone”.  Dominion also cited its PROPOSED addition of 30 megawatts of solar power on leased commercial rooftops (this seems to me to be more of an argument against Dominion. 30 megawatts, really?). Thirdly, Dominion also pointed to its bids for leases to build wind farms off of Virginia’s coast. All of these arguments need to be filed under the growing narrative of Dominion as big on words of good intention and woefully short on substantive action towards clean energy.

    First, given Dominion’s paltry baseline for renewable energy in 2026 (2.8%), any increase in their percentage of renewable energy in the years ahead would undoubtedly remain at unsatisfactory levels, at levels which would hardly put a dent in our state’s greenhouse gas contributions.

    Secondly, an extra 30 megawatts of solar power is not the large scale solar power that Virginians want and is therefore a moot defense. The primary reason that Virginians want clean energy is to stem the tide of climate change. 30 megawatts is hardly a drop in the pond and only illustrates either Dominions total lack of understanding of what Virginians are demanding or a blatant attempt to slow-walk clean energy in Virginia by continually PROPOSING (and sometimes constructing) small-scale clean energy projects to quell criticism of its policies.  

    Third, as environmental leaders like Glen Besa  have pointed out, Dominion’s efforts at monopolizing offshore wind energy fits snuggly into its narrative of controlling energy resources to fit its own corporate interests. It’s not good enough to pursue permits or to even win those permits for offshore wind energy. You then have to construct them in a timely manner and then distribute the energy to millions of Virginians. Has Dominion even come near this outcome? Not even close.  

    Virginians like myself don’t like wasting our time and energy making sure Dominion is doing the right thing for its ratepayers and Virginians in general. I would therefore like to believe that Dominion has the best of intentions and will be moving with all deliberate speed towards clean energy very soon. But given Dominion’s defensive arguments in response to citizen criticism and Dominion’s own unflattering past regarding clean energy, Virginians like myself know that the fight for cleaner air, greater jobs, and lower utility rates is far from over.

    Dominion may have the money to buy politicians and bureaucrats, but it doesn’t have the power of the people or moral authority on its side.