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EIA Publishes Regional Electricity Supply and Pricing Forecasts Using UPLAN Model

LCG, August 13, 2019--The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that it is revising the presentation and modeling of its forecasts for electricity supply and market hub pricing to better reflect current electricity markets and system operations in the U.S. Beginning with the August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the new forecasting approach models electricity markets using the UPLAN production cost optimization software developed by LCG Consulting. EIA uses the solution results provided by this proprietary model to develop the STEO forecasts of monthly electricity generation, fuel consumption, and wholesale prices.

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Dominion Energy Virginia Pursues 500 MW of Renewable Projects

LCG, August 8, 2019--Dominion Energy Virginia announced Monday that it is seeking bids for up to 500 MW of renewable capacity in both 2021 and 2022 to increase its clean energy resources. Dominion Energy stated that it is committed to having 3,000 MW of solar and wind in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. This near-term step is part of an ultimate company commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 across the 18 states it serves.

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Industry News

Dominion Plans on Offshore Wind Projects, Pumped Storage and Relicensing of Nuclear Plants to Reduce Carbon Emissions

LCG, August 1, 2019--Dominion Energy presented plans to invest in clean energy infrastructure in its second-quarter earnings call yesterday. Dominion's five-year growth capital plan totals $26 billion through 2023.

A significant portion of Dominion's capital expenditure plan is to develop and install offshore wind projects. In July Dominion initiated construction on its $300 million, 12-MW Coastal Virginia wind pilot project, located 27 miles offshore of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The project is scheduled for completion in 2020. Dominion now expects the offshore lease area may accommodate over 2,000 MW of generation capacity and a total investment of $1.1 billion through 2024.

The executive vice president, president and CEO of Dominion's Power Generation Group stated, "In Virginia, we're looking at the need to get the life-cycle cost equivalent down closer to maybe the $80/MWh range, which means we need to see about a 15% to 20% capital cost improvement. We think that those costs can move in that direction once we stand up the US supply chain. That's been a real benefit that they've seen in Europe is being able to scale up the supply chain."

Given Dominion's interest to add variable or intermittent renewable generation resources, Dominion is also refining its search for a potential site to install a $2 billion to $3 billion pumped storage facility in southwestern Virginia. In addition, Dominion Energy Virginia (Virginia Electric and Power Company) will file its first battery pilot program this week. "We will pair batteries with solar facilities to begin the integration of peak shifting and clipping as well as test the reliability benefits of batteries on our distribution grid."

Relicensing Dominion's four existing Westinghouse pressurized water reactors reactors in Virginia for another 20 years is another critical element of Dominion's plan to utilize carbon-free electric generating resources. The nuclear resources include the approximately 1,958-MW North Anna and the 1,750-MW Surry nuclear power plants, along with a $4 billion capital program. The North Anna and Surry units were originally licensed to operate for 40 years, like all U.S nuclear units. All four units' licenses were renewed for 20 additional years of operation in 2003. The North Anna and Surry nuclear units' respective licenses currently will expire in 2038 and 2040, and 2032 and 2033. After a second renewal, the respective licenses for North Anna and Surry will allow the units to operate to 2058 and 2060, and 2052 and 2053.
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