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January 20, 2015

125-acre solar power farm planned near Remington

Photo/Dominion Virginia Power
The solar facility would stand near Dominion’s gas fired power plant in southern Fauquier.
The Remington Solar Facility marks the beginning of an exciting process with large scale solar technology that adds emission-free generation in the commonwealth. Increasing our use of solar energy is part of that plan, and renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in Virginia's future. Dominion has diversified the type of fuels it uses to generate electricity with more use of natural gas and biomass generation.
— Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman and CEO
Dominion Virginia Power filed an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission today to build Virginia's first large-scale solar facility near Remington.

The 20-megawatt project would be built on approximately 125 acres the company owns near the Remington Power Station in southern Fauquier County. The property on Lucky Hill Road lies about two miles northeast of Remington.

The facility would contain approximately 90,000 photovoltaic panels and at peak capacity would generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes. The solar facility could start operations by October 2016.

It will cost an estimated $47 million.

“The Remington Solar Facility marks the beginning of an exciting process with large scale solar technology that adds emission-free generation in the commonwealth,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources. “Increasing our use of solar energy is part of that plan, and renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in Virginia's future. Dominion has diversified the type of fuels it uses to generate electricity with more use of natural gas and biomass generation.”

Why build a solar facility in Fauquier?

“The short answer is because we already own the land,” Dominion Virginia Power spokesman Rob Richardson said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “We liked the topography . . . . It has minimal potential environmental impact.”

High-voltage transmission lines already serve the adjacent, natural-gas-fueled generation plant, which provides electricity for peak demand.

Dominion owns 280 acres there. Neil Selby for 35 years has operated Shady Grove Kennel Hunting Preserve & Sporting Clays on land leased from the utility company.

The solar collectors will stand on part of the land Mr. Selby has used, according to Mr. Richardson said.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Mr. Selby said by phone Tuesday afternoon.

It remains unclear how Dominion’s plan would affect the hunting preserve on Lucky Hill Road.

In addition to state approval, to build the facility, Dominion would need Fauquier’s board of supervisors to rezone the site from agricultural to industrial use.

The project also would require a comprehensive plan amendment and a special exception permit, according to Holly Meade, the county’s chief of planning.

Company representatives already have met with county officials to discuss the project.

“I want to thank Dominion for their commitment to solar energy development with a project that nearly doubles Virginia's production of solar energy,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “I look forward to working with them to continue to expand renewable generation in Virginia and diversify the Commonwealth’s fuel mix.”

Dominion has experience constructing and operating a large, diversified generation portfolio, which includes 344 megawatts of solar generating capacity in development, under construction or in operation across six states.

For more information on Dominion's solar projects, visit dom.com/solar.

In a separate application filed today with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Dominion is seeking approval of a Community Solar pilot in Virginia. This pilot program, initiated by policy recommendations from several Virginia legislators, will allow customers to voluntarily purchase solar energy output from a Virginia-based 2-megawatt Dominion solar facility.

“I am pleased to have worked with Dominion Virginia Power to make solar an option for residents who live in condominiums or homes that have excessive tree cover and are impractical for solar installations,” said Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax). “This pilot will make emissions-free energy a reality for hundreds of customers who want that choice, but otherwise could not have it.”

Del. David E. Yancey (R-Newport News) said: “Increasing solar power in Virginia is good for the environment and I applaud Dominion Virginia Power for its willingness to take this step in the Commonwealth.”


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nova_gjones · January 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm
We just put in a new power line about 5 years ago. It started in Ohio burning dirty coal and went through Fauquier and up to the Big Apple. We were told that would meet our needs. The hard part was that the original route was through the Northern end of Fauquier. The rich who made donations to the members of our BOS and much more said not here in our neighborhood. Sooo the put the power line through the Southern end of Fauquier. Now Dominion is putting another electrical appliance here in the Southern End of Fauquier (again). Why not the Northern End? Ah, the rich are up there still. This seems a very prejudiced decision to me. In my opinion the Southern end of Fauquier is a dumping ground for any and all ugly attraction. I suspect that Dominion has made more donations to the BOS election chests again.
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