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.