Clean Energy in Virginia

This year the EPA hopes to have the Clean Power Plan adopted and implemented in our state. Virginia has already been making progress towards being more efficient and environmentally friendly state. On a personal note, I am a big fan of clean energy. I use a geothermal system to heat and cool my house.

Virginia is home to a large amount of “renewable” and clean energy systems. Currently, Dominion power is working to make more of their facilities clean power plants, and has already closed 17 coal plants. The Dominion Power wind farms in the West Virginia Mountains supply power to Virginia. They can power 62,000 homes. Of course the problem with wind is that it only works when it is windy, so it is at full capacity only 30% of the time. Dominion has three biomass conversions plants. They mostly burn wood chips left over from lumbering activities. Biomass is also often done with switch grass. They produce a total of 153 Mega Watts. Each MW powers 250 homes, so these biomass facilities power the equivalent of 38,250 homes. In the future, Dominion is looking toward solar power. There is an application with the State Corporation Commission to build a 33 MW solar facility. The problem with solar power at our latitude and climate is that it will only be available 20% of the time. Finally, Dominion is presently pursuing grants for offshore wind.

Most importantly, under the Clean Power Plan, Virginia plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 38%.


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