Industries Energy/Green

Dominion Virginia Power and SunEnergy1 to install largest solar facility in Hampton Roads

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Dominion Virginia Power will soon add more solar power to its generation portfolio.  The company said Monday that it is partnering with SunEnergy1 to install 91,803 solar panels at a new solar farm in Chesapeake – enough to power 5,000 homes.


SunEnergy1, a North Carolina-based company, will lease the 250-acre site, located off Ballahack Road and U.S. Highway 17. Dominion said in a news release that it would purchase the output of the facility, including energy, capacity and renewable energy credits, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.


"Our commitment to solar energy is an important part of the future of our state," Katheryn Curtis, Dominion's senior vice president of Power Generation, said in a statement.  "This partnership with SunEnergy1 is another significant step forward for Dominion as we plan for a low-carbon, balanced and diverse generation mix." Dominion Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, announced last year that it plans to add at least 400 megawatts of solar power in Virginia by 2020.


Besides the solar farm in Chesapeake, Dominion has other solar partnerships underway in Hampton Roads. They include:


Isle of Wight County, 19 megawatt (MW) Woodland Solar Center (subject to regulatory approval)
Chesapeake, Western Branch High School, 1MW system on its rooftop
Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, 1killowatt (kW)  ground-mounted system
Norfolk, Old Dominion University, 125kW system at a student recreation center


SunEnergy1, based in Mooresville, N.C., specializes in the design and installation of utility-scale, ground-mount photovoltaic systems. “We are proud to partner with Dominion to bring new solar solutions to Virginia," said Kenny Habul, SunEnergy1 president and CEO.


Virginia native and stock car race driver Denny Hamlin is partnering with SunEnergy1 as an investor in the project through Hamlin's Won One Energy company.
"I see this as a great opportunity to invest in the energy future of Virginia," said Hamlin, a 26-time winner on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.


The Chesapeake solar farm will be a ground-mounted tracking PV system.  Commercial operations are expected to begin later this year.




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