Dulles, Dominion talk solar partnership

An FAA Air Traffic Controller works in the Dulles International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower in Sterling, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The view from the plane at Dulles International Airport could one day include a sprawling solar farm on Airports Authority property.

Dominion Energy Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) have agreed to jointly explore the development of a large-scale 100-megawatt solar energy project. It would cover 1,200 acres at Dulles.

Dominion has already signed a sublease with MWAA to begin feasibility studies.

The solar project would connect to Dominion’s existing transmission line on Dulles property. A project of that size would be one of the largest solar projects in Northern Virginia, and could generate enough electricity to power 25,000 homes.

“Partnering with Dominion Energy on this important project will give us the data and tools we need to determine the role that solar energy can play at a major international airport now and in the future,” said Dulles Airport Manager Mike Stewart.

“This project fits well with the Airports Authority’s goal of enhancing the sustainability and environmental performance of our facilities.”

Based on the feasibility study, the Dulles solar project could come on line as early as 2023.

Dominion Energy has set a goal to cut CO2 emissions by more than half by 2030. It said the Dulles project would bring it a quarter of the way to its goal of 3,000 megawatts of wind and solar online or in development by 2022.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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