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Virginia Mercury: Dominion's Green Energy Package Comes with a Catch: Coal. Businesses aren't Happy

Posted by Sarah Vogelsong on Oct 30, 2019

Virginia Mercury covered concerns about Dominion's new green energy package, including those raised by AEE's Caitlin Marquis and AEE member Walmart. Read excerpts below and the entire Virginia Mercury piece here. 

Dominion Energy’s newest plan for a renewable energy package that environmentally conscious customers can buy is causing some big businesses, including Walmart, to push back against what they call “an unattractive offering.” Why? Companies and an industry group that represents some of Virginia’s and the nation’s largest employers have two complaints. First, the portfolio of renewable energy resources assembled by Dominion includes numerous carbon-emitting facilities, some decades old, including one in Southwest Virginia that derives 93 percent of its energy from coal and is listed by Dominion on its website as a coal asset.

Second, if the utility succeeds in winning approval for its plan, that will deal a blow to the state’s fledgling renewable energy market, leaving nowhere else for most customers in the commonwealth to turn if they want to buy renewables.

“Now is the time to foster innovation and development of renewable energy options, not stifle it,” Lisa Perry, Walmart’s senior manager of energy services, wrote in testimony filed this October with the State Corporation Commission, the regulatory body that will weigh the merits of Dominion’s proposal later this fall...

But while opponents of Dominion’s renewable energy plan acknowledge that its portfolio is in line with the letter of the law, they argue in SCC filings that the proposal’s mismatch with state goals of encouraging development in renewables means that it falls well short of what customers seeking to buy clean energy are looking for.

“Customers are participating in utility programs to drive additional renewable energy deployment, to lower emissions, and to demonstrate leadership,” wrote Caitlin Marquis, a director of energy industry trade association Advanced Energy Economy, in testimony opposing Dominion’s proposal to the SCC. “Providing financial support to existing projects that are more than 15 years old and to emitting resources — including a seven-year-old coal plant co-fired with biomass — is inconsistent with customers’ motivation and objectives...”

Read the entire Virginia Mercury piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News