Dominion (Richmond, VA, U.S.) on November 17th, 2016 announced a major expansion of its solar alliance with Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, to add 180 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) generating capacity in five Virginia counties.
Construction of the facilities will be enabled through long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) between Dominion subsidiary, Dominion Energy, Inc., and an affiliate of Amazon's cloud computing business, AWS. The solar facilities are expected to enter service in late 2017.
The developments are expected to expand Dominion's operating eight-state solar fleet to 1,400 megawatts by 2017, including 434 megawatts in North Carolina and Virginia. The company, one of the largest owners and operators of solar power in the U.S., intends to bring online at least 500 megawatts of solar generating capacity in the two-state area by 2020.
Dominion is acquiring four 20-megawatt projects from Virginia Solar LLC, and will develop these facilities in Buckingham, New Kent, Powhatan and Sussex Counties for AWS. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been signed with Strata Solar for the projects.
Dominion is also acquiring a 100-megawatt development from Community Energy Solar and will develop it in Southampton County. Signal Energy will serve as the EPC contractor. Dominion will own and operate all five PV facilities as part of the Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East portfolio.
AWS will be powered by 50 percent renewable energy by the end of 2017
AWS has publicly shared its long-term goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure, and will exceed its goal of 40 percent renewable energy usage by the end of 2016.
AWS also set a new goal to be powered by 50 percent renewable energy by the end of 2017. These projects will increase renewable energy on the electrical grid that supplies both current and future AWS data centers.
“This alliance with Amazon Web Services will include the two largest solar farms in the mid-Atlantic,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion.
Dominion expects the PV projects to qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit.