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Analyst: Dominion's energy diversity the way of the future

Sunday - 9/1/2013, 4:23pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Dominion Virginia Power's new long-range plan shifts the utility's emphasis to natural gas, with large-scale solar and offshore wind power as primary sources. And energy analyst Mark Cooper says that "the smart utilities are heading in that direction. ...

"Gas is cheap today; wind is cheap today, and efficiency is dirt-cheap," Cooper says.

The diversity of the plan, which Dominion submitted to the State Corporation Commission on Friday, is in contrast to other utilities' concepts, Cooper says: "The single biggest obstacle to building a 21st-century electrical network is the resistance of some incumbent utilities."

Dominion has left the door open for a possible third nuclear reactor at North Anna, but does not commit to building it. Cooper says it won't be necessary - new efficiencies in appliances and building construction, he says, along with wind and solar technology, are making those new technologies better economic choices for utilities and consumers.

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