Virginia's Solar PV Future Shining Brighter
Dominion Virginia Power is seeking approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission for a "Community Solar Power Program" as a demonstration program to study the impact and assess the benefits of solar photovoltaic (PV) distributed generation (DG) to the Dominion distribution system. Dominion's proposed Program consists of two components: (1) up to 30 MW of Dominion-owned Solar DG installations and (2) a Tariff allowing the Company to purchase up to 3 MW of energy output from customer-owned Solar DG installations.
Dominion expects to install 30 - 50 Solar DG systems ranging in size from 500 kilowatts (kW) to 2 megawatts (MW). Under the proposed plan 10 MW would be constructed and operating by 31 December 2013 and 20 MW between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2015. As proposed, space for the solar generating facilties would be leased from businesses and other community partners. The proposed tariff, which is designed to facilitate customer-owned distributed solar generation, would pay the customer $0.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for a period of five years.
If you want to get involved with the development of this program and want to make your thoughts known to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, here are some important dates:
- 15 June 2012 - Parties interested in participationg in the SCC proceedings must send the Commission a notice of participation by this date.
- 13 July 2012 - For those wishing to participate in the proceeding, they must file their written testimony by this date.
- 3 August 2012 - The SCC Public Staff will submit testimony to the Commission on this date.
- 12 September 2012 - Those who do not intend to participate, but want to comment on the program, must submit their comments in writing to the SCC Clerk's office by this date.
- 19 September 2012 - The Commissioners hear the case for the program (case number PUE-2011-00117), and the public witnesses can speak at this time if the register with the SCC office.
After the hearing, Dominion expects a ruling by the end of November 2012.
For comprehensive training on Solar systems, you may want to attend the "Fundamentals of Solar PV Design & Installation" course being offered by the Off-Grid Green Living Center in Richmond, VA 18 - 22 June 2012. I attended this class in 2011 and highly recommend the course and its instructor Jim Dunlop who authored the text book Photovoltaic Systems.