Proposed renewable energy projects in Virginia can anticipate a rigorous review by state regulators. On October 20, 2015, the Virginia State Corporation Commission denied an application by Dominion Virginia Power to construct and operate a 20 MW utility-scale solar electric generating facility in Fauquier County, near the town of Remington. The proposed project was to be constructed on land already owned by Dominion and co-located with an existing natural gas generation facility.
The Commission denied the application because it found that the applicant has not satisfied Virginia’s requirement that the applicant consider and evaluate alternatives to the proposed project, including third-party alternatives. Although Virginia law considers certain small renewable energy projects to be in the public interest, reliability, economic and environmental implications must also be addressed. While the alternatives analysis submitted by the applicant was found to be insufficient, the Commission is allowing the applicant to resubmit its application with a revised analysis.