Regulator Approves Rate Increase for Dominion Energy Consumers to Compensate for Increased Fuel Costs

The State Corporation Commission approved a Dominion Energy request to increase the fuel factor charged to consumers, leading to $14.93 increase on an average monthly bill. In May, the utility requested the increase citing increased fuel costs.

In its order, the SCC said, “[T]he Commission notes its awareness of the ongoing rise in gas prices, inflation, and other economic pressures that are impacting all utility customers. We are sensitive to the effects of rate increases, especially in times such as these. The Commission, however, must follow the laws applicable to this case, as well as the findings of fact supported by the evidence in the record. This is what we have done herein.”

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New Government Spending Will Benefit Top Biden Adviser’s Consulting Clients

White House Senior adviser Anita Dunn has consulted for companies and trade groups that have benefited or stand to benefit from federal funding and is being forced to recuse herself from matters involving them, according to a financial disclosure.

Dunn has consulted through the public affairs firm SKDK during the past two years for the likes of Pfizer, AT&T, Micron and the American Clean Power Association, according to a filing reported on by CNBC Friday. Dunn, who founded the SKDK in 2004, is recused from working on issues related to past clients, a spokesman for the White House told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Virginia Regulator Approves Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project

The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved applications from Dominion Energy for its proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project to feature 176 wind turbines 27 miles off Virginia’s coast, although the project still needs federal approvals.

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Dominion Energy Opens 12-Megawatt Battery System, Piloting Energy Storage to Accompany Wind, Solar

Dominion Energy is now operating a 12 megawatt bank of three battery systems at its Scott Solar facility in Powhatan County. That’s the largest battery storage project the utility operates, according to a Thursday announcement, and is part of a pilot program aimed at developing energy storage alongside wind and solar power generation.

“Battery storage is an integral component to the clean energy transition in Virginia, supporting grid reliability for our customers during periods of high demand and by helping to fill gaps due to the inherent intermittency of solar and wind power,” Dominion Energy Virginia President Ed Baine said in a press release.

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Charlotte Board of Supervisors Approves Permit for Largest Solar Facility in Virginia (So Far)

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved a use permit for an 800 megawatt solar facility — the largest in Virginia so far, according to SoVaNow. That moves the Randolph Solar Project close to its sale from developer SolUnesco to Dominion Energy, which needs to reduce carbon emissions after the General Assembly passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020.

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Dominion Energy Seeks to Halt Virginia Rate Increase, Citing Youngkin Energy Plan

Dominion Energy, which is the largest energy company in Virginia, is asking the state to halt the next scheduled rate increase because Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s energy plan would make the hike unnecessary.

On Jan. 1, Dominion began implementing the state-approved rate increase to recover costs associated with purchasing allowances through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is a carbon-trading initiative designed to gradually reduce carbon emissions. The initial increase for 2022 cost a residential customer nearly $30 over the year, but those costs would continue to go up if Virginia stays in the compact. According to the State Corporations Commission (SCC), RGGI would cost about $5.9 billion between 2019 and 2043 and would lead to a rate increase between $84 and $144 annually.

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In Settlement, Dominion Energy Virginia Customers Get $330 Million Refund, While Utility Keeps $309 Million For Reinvestment

Virginia’s Dominion Energy customers will get $330 million in refunds due to a settlement. On Thursday, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved the settlement put forward in October, closing the agency’s triennial financial review of the utility. SCC staff found that the company may have overcharged customers as much as $1.1 billion, according to a September report. Dominion Energy can deduct some items from that before issuing refunds, including a $309 million Customer Credit Reinvestment Offset (CCRO) that allows reinvestment in offshore wind, solar, and grid transformation projects.

The settlement also includes a rate reduction that will reduce customers’ bills.

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Virginia Gets the First U.S.-Based Offshore Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing is coming to the U.S. and Virginia as part of a partnership between Dominion Energy and Spain-based manufacturer Siemens Gamesa. Dominion Energy has been expanding its offshore wind project with support from Virginia officials, and is already using Siemens Gamesa to manufacture blades in Europe.

“Virginians want renewable energy, our employers want it, and Virginia is delivering it,” Governor Ralph Northam said in a Monday press release. “The Commonwealth is joining these leading companies to create the most important clean-energy partnership in the United States. This is good news for energy customers, the union workers who will bring this project to life, and our business partners. Make no mistake: Virginia is building a new industry in renewable energy, with more new jobs to follow, and that’s good news for our country.”

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Virginia House District 75 Profile: Otto Wachsmann Challenges Senior Delegate Roslyn Tyler

Virginia House of Delegates District 75 is one of the best chances for Republicans to flip a House seat. Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex) is a 15-year incumbent, but she faces a repeat challenge from pharmacist Otto Wachsmann, Jr. who nearly beat her in 2019 with 48.89 percent of the vote. The district has been bleeding population in recent years, and the victory will likely depend on whether Roslyn Tyler can mobilize the significant minority presence and overcome dissatisfaction with the local economy. Republicans need to gain six seats in the House to retake the majority. Without Trump on the ballot, Republicans are hoping moderates are more likely to vote Republican, helping them flip some seats.

“If you had to ask me what is the most likely district in the House to flip to Republicans, I would say that one. I still say it’s a toss-up,” CNalysis Director Chaz Nuttycombe told The Virginia Star.

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Republicans Competitive to Retake Virginia House of Delegates Majority

Republicans have a good chance to retake the majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates, powered by historically-Republican voters in swing districts who were alienated by former President Donald Trump. To win the majority, Republicans need to protect what they have and take six seats. They see opportunities in Northern Virginia, metro Richmond, Virginia Beach, and downstate Virginia.

“We feel that with the environment that’s going on right now, we’ve got great opportunities to pick up five to nine seats to take over,” Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Wise) told The Virginia Star. “That’s one thing you don’t have any control of, but the environment, you know, of Biden and just the overreach by a lot of the Democrats’ bills last year has really focused the independents back our way.”

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Virginia State Corporation Commission Staff Report: Dominion Energy Should Pay Customers $312.4 Million Refund

As testimony in an ongoing review of Dominion Energy, a State Corporation Commission (SCC) staff report recommends a $312.4 million refund to the utility’s Virginia customers after finding that the utility’s earnings exceeded a regulatory threshold by $1.143 billion in 2017 through 2020.

“Staff’s analysis indicates the Company earned a 13.61 percent ROE [Return on Equity] during the 2017 through 2020 earnings test period. This is 441 basis points of earnings, or $1.143 billion of revenues, above the applicable fair combined ROE of 9.2 percent,” SCC Division of Utility Accounting and Finance Deputy Director Patrick Carr wrote in the report.

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At Conference, Northam Says Virginia Is Ideal for Offshore Wind Industry

RICHMOND, Virginia — Governor Ralph Northam and Dominion Energy CEO Robert Blue announced that the Port of Virginia will lease 72 acres of the deep-water Portsmouth Marine Terminal for staging and pre-assembly of Dominion’s offshore wind project.

“This announcement is yet another milestone toward making Virginia the national leader in offshore wind power,” Northam said. “The Commonwealth and Dominion Energy are standing together to promote clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and build a new American industry on the East Coast of the United States.”

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Checks and Balances Project Attracts Criticism over Links to Public Relations Firm

Sentara Norfolk General

Watchdog blog the Checks and Balances Project (CBP) is facing criticism over its links to the Tigercomm public relations firm. On November 9, 2020, the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) signed a contract with Tigercomm during a conflict with major Virginia health care network, Sentara. On November 13, CBP published its first story about Sentara. This month, The Washington Post and The Virginian-Pilot reported on the ties between Tigercomm and CBP.

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Michael Bills and Clean Virginia Biggest Losers in Virginia Democratic Primary

Democrats nominated former governor Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) for governor, attorney general, and lieutenant governor respectively. Progressive candidates lost both in those races, and down-ballot in the House of Delegates.

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Ayala Takes $100,000 from Dominion Energy After Taking Funds from Clean Virginia

Dominion Energy gave lieutenant governor candidate Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Prince William) $100,000 at the end of May, according to new campaign finance reports published by The Virginia Public Access Project. That angered anti-utility activist group Clean Virginia which had contributed $25,000 to Ayala’s campaign; Ayala had committed to not accept money from the utility.

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Clean-Virginia-Funded Commonwealth Forward PAC Working to Primary Candi King, Steve Heretick

The Commonwealth Forward PAC is a new Democratic PAC founded to fight lobbyists and corporate interests, even within the Democratic Party, and is funded primarily by $525,000 from the Michael Bills-funded Clean Virginia Fund. Bills has donated $3 million to the fund in 2021, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP.)

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Virginia Opens Machicomoco State Park, the State’s 40th Park

Virginia has a brand-new state park — Machicomoco State Park, located along the York River in Gloucester County. On April 16, Governor Ralph Northam and other officials opened the 645-acre park, which features camping, picnic shelters, boat launches, and trails. One goal of the park is to tell the story of Virginia’s native tribes through interpretive areas.

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Virginia Leaders Mourn Sudden Passing of Dominion Energy Chairman and Philanthropist Tom Farrell

Tom Farrell

Dominion Energy Chairman and Virginia philanthropist Thomas F. “Tom” Farrell II has died, causing the Commonwealth of Virginia and it’s political leaders to mourn the loss of one of the most powerful businessmen in Virginia history. Farrell, age 66, passed away due to cancer on Friday, one day after relinquishing the Chairmanship of the company he had steered from 2007 to 2020. Mr. Farrell and his family have heavily influenced some of the most important business and political decisions in the Commonwealth.

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Virginia Delegate Rasoul Tries Again with Green New Deal

Delegate Sam Rasoul has pre-filed his “Green New Deal Act” [GND] in the Virginia House which includes a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure beginning January 1, 2022.

“The 2021 GND Act tackles the dual crisis of climate change and inequity with an intersectional approach,” Rasoul said in an announcement on Twitter. “The science is clear. We must act swiftly to address the climate crisis.”

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Dominion Energy Announces Equity Scholarship for Minority College Students

Utilities provider Dominion Energy has announced $500,000 in 2021 scholarships aimed at helping underrepresented minority high school seniors or graduates enrolling in college or vocational schools for the upcoming academic year.

“We have partnered with historically black colleges and universities for nearly 40 years, offering volunteer and financial support,”  Dominion Energy’s Executive Chairman Thomas F. Farrell, II, said in a press release. “This scholarship program is another way for us to support the students who will one day lead our nation.”

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Virginia’s Dominion Energy Gives Stoney PAC $50,000

Four days before Christmas, Richmond-based utilities provider Dominion Energy gave $50,000 to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s One Richmond PAC, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP). With Stoney having just won re-election for another four-year term as mayor, it’s unclear what the funds are for.

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John Fredericks Commentary: Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project Will Bring Jobs to the Commonwealth

Anybody who knows me knows I’m a jobs guy. I believe in jobs, good wages and all the positives than come from infrastructure projects. We have one about to explode in our own backyard here in Virginia – and I mean explode in a good way. It’s the multi-billion dollar economic development blockbuster known as the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project. This thing has been under development for a long time…from the informational meetings years ago, the drawing boards, the public meetings, the regulatory hurdles and the construction.

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Non-Profit VA Ready Focused on Rapid Training for In-Demand Jobs

Non-profit VA Ready announced this week a $30,000 award from Microsoft. The non-profit focuses on quickly training disadvantaged workers in Virginia with new job skills that are in demand.

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SCC Extends Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs but Warns Bills Are Piling Up

Responding to a request from Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia’s State Corporation Comission (SCC) has agreed to extend a moratorium on utility shutoffs until October 5. The SCC warns that they will not extend the moratorium again. The moratorium has been in place since March 16, 2020.

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Virginia State Corporation Commission Extends Moratorium on Utility Service Shut-offs for Two Weeks

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) is extending its general moratorium on service shut-offs until September 16 to help customers struggling to pay their utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout. 

In an news release Monday, the SCC said it is continuing its emergency measure to give the Virginia General Assembly, currently meeting in a special session, more time to pass legislation addressing the impact of COVID-19 on utility customers over the last six months. 

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Dominion Earns $500 Million Above Authorized Profit as Bills Continue to rise for Virginians, SCC Report Says

Dominion Energy earned $502.7 million in revenues above authorized profit from 2017-2019, and customers’ residential energy bills have increased by 28.81 percent since 2007, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) said.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission released its annual report on the status of implementation of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act, highlighting detailed business figures of Dominion Energy and other electric companies operating in Virginia.

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Despite Supreme Court Win, Energy Companies Cancel $8 Billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The developers of the long-delayed, $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced the cancellation of the multi-state natural gas project Sunday, citing uncertainties about costs, permitting and litigation.

Despite a victory last month at the United States Supreme Court over a critical permit, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy said in a news release that “recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the 600-mile project designed to cross West Virginia and Virginia into North Carolina.

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