The Clover Power Plant could be closing by 2025, according to Virginia Electric and Power Company’s 2020 Integrated Resource Plan submitted to the State Corporation Commission.
Listed in the IRP is a list of potential unit retirements with the local coal-fired power plant included.
But, Dominion Energy media relations manager Ray Daudani, warns that the IRP is a “forecast,” and not a “commitment.”
An IRP is “a document developed by an electric utility that provides a forecast of its load obligations and a plan to meet those obligations by supply side and demand side resources over the ensuing 15 years to promote reasonable prices, reliable service, energy independence and environmental responsibility,” according to Virginia Code.
It’s a document he said they update annually, and as time going on, regulations change and generations adjust, so could the IRP.
“The IRP does change yearly,” he added.
When constructing its IRP, they had several items to consider including the Virginia Clean Economy Act that was passed in April.
The Act, “establishes a schedule by which Dominion Energy Virginia and American Electric Power are required to retire electric generating units located in the Commonwealth that emit carbon as a by-product of combusting fuel to generate electricity and by which they are required to construct, acquire or enter into agreements to purchase generating capacity located in the Commonwealth using energy derived from sunlight or onshore wind.”
The measure replaces the existing voluntary renewable energy portfolio standard program (RPS Program) with a mandatory RPS Program.
Under the mandatory RPS Program, Dominion Energy Virginia and American Electric Power are required to produce their electricity from 100 % renewable sources by 2045 and 2050, respectively.
As they try to meet customer’s needs, Daudani said they looked at fuel mix for customers, cost implications, regulations and what would cause the lowest environmental impact on their quest for net zero carbon.
“We take all this into consideration while still keeping the lights on,” he added.
In 2019, Dominion Energy said the plant generates roughly 865 megawatts of electric power every year and employs 150 people with the majority living in the county.
Also in the plan are four alternative plans as part of its efforts “to preserve the environment.”
Plan A offers a “least-cost” plan that “estimates future generate expansion where there are no new constraints, including no new regulations or restrictions on CO2 emissions.”
However the IRP acknowledges that this plan “does not represent a realistic state of relevant loan ad regulation.”
Plan B includes significant development of solar, wind and energy storage resources and preserves “approximately 9,700 MW of natural gas-fired generation to address future system reliability, stability and energy independence issues.”
Plan C includes retiring all company-owned carbon-emitting generation in 2045, meaning close to zero CO2 emissions, and required solar energy.
Plan D is similar to Plan C, but significantly increases the need of solar resources.
As stated in this IRP, “this 2020 Plan focuses on presenting alternative plans that set the company on a trajectory to achieve these clean energy targets. Indeed, the company has already begun to transition its generation fleet, as well as its transmission and distribution systems, to achieve a cleaner future.”