By SARAH RANKIN Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — State regulators said Aug. 24 they would consider additional arguments about whether Dominion Energy Virginia’s plans to build a massive offshore wind farm should include a ratepayer protection that the utility has said will kill the project.
The State Corporation Commission issued an order granting reconsideration in the offshore wind case and temporarily suspending an order issued earlier this month approving the wind farm. The Aug. 5 order contained a provision called a performance guarantee, aimed at ensuring Dominion’s customers don’t have to pay for replacement energy if the project doesn’t generate electricity at the level expected.
Dominion petitioned the commission on Monday to reconsider the performance guarantee, calling it “untenable” and warning that as initially outlined, it would force the company to “terminate all development and construction activities.”
A range of groups, from the Sierra Club to Walmart, have participated in the regulatory proceedings. Wednesday’s commission order directs all participants who object to Dominion’s petition to file a response by Sept. 13. Dominion must then respond to those arguments by Sept. 22, the order said.
The 176-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project is planned for off the coast of Virginia Beach and is expected to be completed in 2026, with an estimated capital cost of $9.8 billion. Dominion says it would be the country’s largest.
Dominion spokesperson Jeremy Slayton said the company looks forward to completing the wind farm “as a regulated project to build on our long record of affordability and reliability.”
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